WEST WINDSOR, NJ (April 17, 2011) – The Sacred Heart men's tennis captured the 2011 Northeast Conference Championship Sunday afternoon, beating rival Quinnipaic 4-1 in a rematch of last year's title match. The Pioneers avenge last year's loss to the Bobcats and earn their second NEC title in the last three years and will now advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Sacred Heart won the doubles point and senior Kirill Kasyanov (Yonkers, NY) delivered the title with his 21st-straight victory beating Andrew Weeden 6-3 and 6-4 at #1 singles to earn his 30th win this year. Kasyanov and fellow senior Chadd Sullo (Orange, CT) delivered the doubles point for Sacred Heart after SHU and QU split the #2 and #3 doubles matches. Kasyanov and Sullo built a 7-2 lead over Brian Mikkelson and Weeden but saw that lead cut to 7-5. The duo broke serve and gave Sacred Heart the 1-0 advantage heading into singles play with an 8-4 win.
Sullo notched the first singles win of the day winning in straight-sets at #5 singles after yesterday's three-set, three hour marathon win against Monmouth. Sullo beat Chris Nelson 6-3 and 6-4 and gave SHU a 2-0 lead. Right on his heels was senior Cole Conrad (Fairfield, CT) who after winning 7-5 in the first set over Corey Morgenstern at #6 closed out his match in short order with a 6-0 win in the second set. Conrad's win put the Pioneers up 3-0 needing just one more singles win to claim the title.
QU's James Kwei got the Bobcats on the board with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Nick Mazzarese (Stonington, CT) at #3 but Kasyanov would put the Bobcats away moments later. After winning the first set 6-3, Kasyanov and Weeden battled to 4-4 in the second set. The senior delivered, finishing it out 6-4, serving it out for the championship. Kasyanov raised his record to 30-6 this year, finishing 10-0 against the NEC.
Conrad and Mazzarese recorded the Pioneers other doubles victory, beating Dillon Kraus and Morgenster, 8-4.
Sullo enjoyed a tremendous run through the NEC Tournament and will head to the NCAA's riding a nine-match winning streak. He posts an 18-7 record and finished 8-1 against the NEC this year. Conrad racked up his 14th win and has won six-straight after a perfect weekend. Conrad and Mazzrese have teamed up for five-straight wins in doubles wins.
The Pioneers will learn where they are headed for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday, May 3rd. The first two rounds are set for May 13th through 15th at regional sites.