Penn State Berks, Penn State Abington Advance to NEAC/NAC West Division Men's Tennis Championship Match

Penn State Berks, Penn State Abington Advance to NEAC/NAC West Division Men's Tennis Championship Match

CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. – Penn State Berks and Penn State Abington earned victories in semifinal play to advance to the championship match of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Men’s Tennis Tournament on Friday evening at the Birchwood Tennis Club.

Semifinal Match No. 1

No. 4 Lancaster Bible 0, No. 1 Penn State Berks 5

Penn State Berks took all three double matchups to jump out to a 3-0 lead over Lancaster Bible. Grant Batzer (Lititz, Pa.) and Shane Leaf (Coatesville, Pa.) battled for the point at No. 3 doubles with a 9-8 win after taking the tiebreaker, 7-1, over Lancaster Bible’s Keven Vallette (Douglassville, Pa.) and James Hutchinson (Star Tannery, Va.). Penn State Berks sophomore Federico Ochoa (Buenos Aires, Argentina) made it 4-0 in favor of the Nittany Lions with a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 4 singles. The Nittany Lions locked up their spot in the championship match with a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 2 singles from Diego Olazagasto (Exeter, Pa.).

Semifinal Match No. 2

No. 3 Penn State Abington 5, No. 2 Penn College 1

Penn State Abington swept doubles play by winning a pair of close matches at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Abington’s Michael Litz (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) and Brandon Zweiback (Philadelphia, Pa.) earned an 8-5 win against Penn College’s top duo of Luke Whitenight (Berwick, Pa.) and Blake Whitmire (Shickshinny, Pa.). The Nittany Lions’ pair of Ilker Erkut (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Andrew Mandujano (Philadelphia, Pa.) added a 9-7 victory at No. 2 doubles. Penn College took the No. 6 singles match with Stephen Helminiak (Williamsport, Pa.) picking up a point behind a 6-0, 6-4 win. Penn State Abington advanced to Friday’s championship on victories at No. 1 and No. 3 singles by Litz and Zweiback, respectively.

Penn State Berks and Penn State Abington will meet in the team championship match on Saturday at 10 a.m. with the NEAC/NAC West Division Champion advancing to the NEAC/NAC Crossover Championship on Sunday, May 6 in Latham, N.Y. The winner of the NEAC/NAC Crossover Championship will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Tournament. Following the conclusion of the team tournament, the NEAC Men’s Tennis Individual Tournament will begin Saturday at 2 p.m.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse, M Volleyball), Pennsylvania State University – Altoona (M Volleyball), and Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s tennis. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.

*Beginning with the 2010 season, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in the sport of men’s tennis. The NEAC will compete as associate members of the NAC in men’s tennis and members from each conference will be divided into an East and West Division. Each division will hold a championship and the two divisional champions will meet to determine the conference champion. The conference winner for each sport will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships.