After qualifying nearly two weeks ago, senior Brad Cummins (Rancho Mirage, CA) and junior Brysl Libao (Redlands, CA) made the most of their opportunity at the 2019 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Cup in Rome, Georgia. The University of Redlands men's tennis standouts put together an incredible run over the last three days that landed the All-America duo in the final of the Division III doubles bracket on Saturday morning at Berry University (GA).
The championship match provided all the excitement, drama, and intensity that such a match should, but the No. 2-seeded Bulldogs came up just short in an amazing 7-6(7), 6-7(6), 6-4 result against third-seeded Matthew Chen and James Hopper of Case Western Reserve University (OH).
"I'm so proud of our guys," Head Coach Geoff Roche said. "It was an unreal match."
The Bulldogs made it through the 16-team bracket by going the distance in every preceding match of the tournament, beginning with Thursday's opening showdown. Redlands rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 10-4 victory against Daniel Fouchier and Michael O'Neil of Gustavus Adolphus College (MN) to remain in the winners' half of the draw. This sent Libao and Cummins into Friday's quarterfinals to face Johns Hopkins University's (MD) Joseph Cartledge and Austin Gu. In another extended match, Redlands prevailed by scores of 3-6, 6-3, 10-5. The Bulldogs continued to roll in their second match of the day by punching their ticket to the final with a 3-6, 7-6(6), 10-8 decision over Antonio Mora and William Wanner of Emory University (GA).
The ITA Cup includes four divisions (Division II, Division III, NAIA, and junior college) of collegiate tennis and was formerly known as the Small College Nationals, which dates back to 1986. The finalists of each fall regional tournament comprise the 16-team doubles bracket at the ITA Cup, with Libao and Cummins winning the earlier event in Claremont.
This concludes the fall portion of the Bulldog men's tennis schedule. Redlands looks forward to hosting its annual Alumni Match on Saturday, January 25, at 11 a.m. In addition, Redlands faces Point Loma Nazarene University in an exhibition on Verdieck Courts on Saturday, February 1.