#5 Robert Morris vs #4 Mount St. Mary's
Thursday, April 19 * 2:00 PM
West Windsor, N.J. * Mercer Tennis Center
Opening Serve: The Mount men's tennis team faces the Colonials in the quarterfinal round of the NEC Championships on Thursday. The Mount comes into the tournament at 14-6 overall, and 4-1 in NEC play. The men defeated Monmouth 7-0 in their most recent match. The Mountaineers won all three doubles and all six singles matches on their way to the win. The team finished with a blistering 7-2 home record this season.
Last Time Against the Colonials: The Mount defeated Robert Morris 4-3 back on April 7 in Moon Township. The Colonials took the doubles point early, but the Mount rallied back to win four of the six singles matches to earn the win. Matthew Blake, Mike Salomon, Austin Blake, and Taylor Place each earned wins for the Mount.
All Time With Robert Morris: The Mount holds a 10-8 lead in the all time series. The Mount has won the last two, including the first ever matchup back in 1994. The Mount won 4-3. The Mount is 1-2 against the Colonials in neutral site matchups all time.
About the NEC Championships: The NEC Championships will be held in West Windsor, N.J. at the Mercer Tennis Center. The event that starts on Thursday, will feature a round of feed-in matches, followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship match. The championship match will be held on Sunday, April 21 at 12:30 PM. The winner of the tournament gets an automatic birth into the NCAA tournament.
20 Win Club: The Mount lineup features a pair of 20 win players this season. The brothers Blake (Matthew and Austin) are the only two players with 20+ wins this season. Austin (22-7) boasts the best singles record on the team and brother Matthew (20-8) has the second most.
Seniors Lead the Way: The three Mount seniors are leading the way this year. Matthew Blake, Mike Salomon and Taylor Place are three of the top four singles wins leaders this season. Matthew Blake won NEC Player of the Week honors this season for the week on April 9.
Senior Leadership: The team returns all six starters from a year ago, which includes three seniors. Matthew Blake (Garnet Valley, Pa./Salesianum (Del.), Taylor Place(Snellville, Ga./St. Pius X), and Mike Salomon (Haymarket, Va./Seton) lead the charge into 2012-13. Blake finished last year with a 13-13 record in singles, and teamed with Place to finish 13-11 in doubles. Place had a 10-15 singles record, while Salomon had a stellar 24-5 singles record. Paul Chae (Hagerstown, Md./St. Maria Goretti) is the other senior, who had a 1-4 singles record last season.
Strength Up The Middle: The team boasts a pair of juniors and sophomores. Mike Zabetakis (Finksburg, Md./Calvert Hall), and Justin Olexa (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) make up the junior duo who saw positive playing time last season. Zabetakis played mainly at the No. 3 spot, and accumulated an overall singles record of 8-17. Olexa had a 3-3 singles record. Sophomore Adam Salam (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) had a solid rookie campaign. Salam played No. 2 and had a 12-12 record.
Brotherly Love: Freshman Austin Blake (Garnet Valley, Pa./Salesianum (Del.) joins his older brother Matthew for the season. They are the first brothers to play together since Thad and Jastin Mostowtt played together in the 2009-10 season.