West Chester men capture their first ever regular season division title since the league began using a win-loss head-to-head format in 2004. They captured this title by beating Mercyhurst Saturday afternoon in a close matchup, 5-4. The team was able to do this by winning all three doubles matches, and JJ Cooke then clinched the win and a title for his team with his singles victory over Mike Vinopal of Mercyhurst, 6-3, 6-3. David Goldenburg finished first in singles with his win against Mauricio Canton 6-1, 6-0. West Chester men are now 8-8, and 4-0 in their division on the season. They have three matches left in the regular season, one against a division foe of Edinboro.
When Coach Tharp was asked if she was happy with the win against Mercyhurst on the road, she simply said, “you can’t not be happy.” The West Chester men must feel very confident heading into the playoffs next week, as Saturday’s win against Mercyhurst, was West Chester’s seventh straight victory. Even though the men got off to a rough start, losing their first seven matches of the season, they have seemed to have caught fire at the right time of the season.
West Chester got off to a great start on Saturday as Chaz Irwin and Patrick McGinley won their doubles match against Jorn Van Der Veer and Travis Beck, 8-6. Cody Leimback and Wanzell Fleming, and David Goldenburg and Steve Hlava followed up with doubles wins of their own, 9-7 and 8-5 respectively. Mercyhurst then answered back with three singles wins from Van Der Veer, Beck, and Robert Rizea. They defeated Irwin, Connor Dunn, and Lars Kristiansen of West Chester. David Goldenburg, who Coach Tharp thought played exceptionally well on Saturday, then won his match 6-1, 6-0. Eric Drusko then captured a singles victory for Mercyhurst against McGinley before Cooke iced the win for West Chester with his singles victory over Vinopal.
West Chester is back in action on Sunday for their final PSAC match, where they will travel to take on the Edinboro Fighting Scots. Edinboro is 13-6 and 1-2 in the conference as of before their match against Millersville on Saturday afternoon. West Chester will then travel to Bloomfield College in New Jersey on Monday before rounding out the regular season with a home matchup against Gloucester County College on Wednesday. The PSAC Semifinals then start that Friday at Bloomsburg University.
The West Chester men have a lot of tennis in their near future, but for right now they can focus on the glory of clinching their first ever regular season division title and bask in the thought of a semifinal playoff berth.
Ryan Calpin can be reached at RC784188@wcupa.edu.