Griz find singles success in Nevada

Semion Branzburg had four of the team's 10 singles victories

Semion Branzburg had four of the team's 10 singles victories

Oct. 20, 2013

Senior Andrew Warren made the round of 32 and the Montana men's tennis team won 10 singles matches last week at the ITA Mountain Region championships, which were contested at the Darling Tennis Center in Summerlin, Nev.

Warren, senior Ethan Vaughn and sophomore Semion Branzburg all won first-round singles matches in straight sets Wednesday in the winners' bracket. Warren advanced out of the round of 64 win a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Utah's Cedric Willems, the tournament's No. 18 seed.

Boise State's Thomas Tenreiro, the No. 8 seed, defeated Warren in the round of 32, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

It was the third time in four years Montana has had a player advance to the round of 32. Mikolaj Caruk made it in 2012, Josh Smith and Carl Kuschke in 2010.

"Andrew came real close (to making the round of 16)," UM coach Kris Nord said. "He played out a great first day and really had a chance to win against Tenreiro in two sets.

"He didn't play well in the third set, but he was real close. I was real happy with Andrew on the main draw.

"Then we had a bunch of good results on the back side against good players. That was real encouraging, because we really hung in there and played some good tennis on what were some long days."

Six of Montana's 10 wins at the tournament came in the back draw, three coming from Branzburg. And it could have been more.

Branzburg pulled out three-set victories over players from Utah State and New Mexico State before cruising to a 6-2, 6-0 win over Lucas Fumagalli to make the quarterfinals. The only thing to stop Branzburg was the team's pre-booked return trip home.



Caruk had a pair of straight-set back-draw wins, and freshman Peter Mimnagh-Fleming rallied to defeat New Mexico's Andy Van Der Vyver in three sets.

"Semion played great," Nord said. "He had some really good wins in the back draw. I was really happy with how he competed. He and Peter both had some nice comeback wins."

Montana's three doubles teams all lost in the opening round on Wednesday, and only Warren and Branzburg, who defeated a pair from Idaho State in the first round of the consolation bracket, produced a victory in seven doubles matches.

"We didn't play well across the board in doubles, so that's still a concern. We need to spend more time there," Nord said.

The regional was the final of three fall tournaments for the Grizzlies, who won't compete again until playing at Utah State on Jan. 31.

"We definitely have some things we have to focus on," Nord said. "We're close to being good and close to being real average.

"That's going to be my message when I meet with the guys this week. What we do between now and January will have a lot to do with how conference goes in the spring."

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