WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Michael Blevins, Nikola Todorovic and Jessica Stolle were named to the Mid-Central College All-Conference Team after the conclusion of the tennis season last weekend. Men's tennis head coach Larry Schuh was also awarded MCC Coach of the Year.
Stolle, a junior, earned all-conference honors for the third straight year. She won the #1 singles title her freshman year, and lost in the second round her next two years. Stolle has compiled a career record of 36-6 over her first three years. This year, she finished 11-4 overall and 5-3 in the conference.
Blevins won the #1 singles title as the number four seed in the MCC tournament upsetting two opponents that beat him during the regular season. The freshman finished 11-3 overall and 4-3 in MCC play.
Todorovic advanced to the #2 singles championship match in the MCC tournament but fell in three sets to the number one seed. Todorovic, also a freshman, finished 11-4 overall and 5-2 in the conference.
This year, the men's tennis team has excelled under Schuh. The Lancers rebounded from a 2-10 (0-8 MCC) record last year to a 6-5 (4-3 MCC) record this year; and after finishing last in the conference, Schuh led the men to a fourth place regular season finish and a fifth place finish in the conference tournament.
Schuh has brought a change of culture to men's tennis at Grace. The Lancers earned their first MCC win in four years when they defeated Bethel College on Sept. 3, and they also won at least five matches for the first time in six years.
Schuh brought in freshmen Blevins and Todorovic, who have been a dominant force at #1 and #2 singles for the Lancers.
MARION, Ind. – Michael Blevins, as a freshman, claimed his spot as the best men's tennis player in the Mid-Central College Conference on Saturday.
Blevins defeated Indiana Wesleyan's Matt Pedersen in the #1 singles MCC tournament championship match in two sets, 7-6 (6), 6-4. During the regular season, Pedersen defeated Blevins in three sets in Blevins' first career MCC match.
"I was kind of surprised," Blevins said. "After my rough start in the first set, I thought I was going to lose. I was so nervous at the beginning, but after I got settled in, it was pretty exciting."
Down 5-2 in the first set, Blevins rebounded with three straight wins to even the score at five. In the tiebreak, he won 8-6. With that momentum, Blevins took the second set to grab the title.
"Some of the shots he pulled off were just incredible," said Blevins' teammate Josh Beguin. "Sometimes, he just hit the ball down the line, and I was like, 'Did he seriously just do that?' It was really fun to watch."
In the semifinal match, Blevins upset Taylor's top-ranked Felipe Bedon, who was the defending #1 singles champion. Bedon defeated Blevins twice during the regular season -- once in their conference match and once in the ITA Tournament three weeks ago.
"This week was the best tennis I've played. The Taylor guy beat me twice during the regular season," Blevins said. "It's awesome to see the program starting to turn around."
MUNCIE, Ind. – Grace's dynamic freshmen duo, Michael Blevins and Nikola Todorovic, aren't quite ready to close the book on their first year campaigns.
Blevins upset Felipe Bedon from Taylor University in the second round of the MCC Tournament on Friday to advance to the #1 singles championship match on Saturday. Bedon, a junior whose last loss came as a freshman, was the defending champion at #1 singles and was ranked number one in the field.
At #2 singles, Todorovic fought through two tough matches to earn a spot in the championship, as well. Todorovic, ranked second, pulled off a pair of three-set victories in the first two rounds, including a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Marian University's Andrew Voss. Four days ago in the last regular season match of the year, Voss swept Todorovic 6-2, 6-2.
The fourth-ranked Blevins, now 10-3 on the year, will play Indiana Wesleyan's Matt Pedersen at 9 a.m. Saturday. Blevins and Pedersen faced off in Blevins's first career MCC match earlier this year, with Pedersen winning in three sets, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Todorovic, also 10-3 on the year, faces the number one-ranked player at #2 singles, David Darling from Spring Arbor University. Darling won their regular season match in two sets.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace finished its improbable rise in the Mid-Central Conference with a disappointing 5-4 loss to Marian. At stake in the match was the #3 seed in the conference, which Marian grabbed by virtue of the tiebreaking head-to-head victory.
The Knights started off with a 2-1 advantage in doubles play, with freshmen Michael Blevins and Nikola Todorovic winning at #1 doubles 8-2. Jon Allan and Parker Snowden lost a close match at #3 doubles 8-5.
In singles play, the Lancers (6-5; 4-3 MCC) needed to take four of six matches to win overall, but could only win three. Blevins ended his excellent conference season at #1 singles with a 6-4, 6-3 win. Senior Adam Bedwell and sophomore Jon Allan also won their matches at #3 and #5 singles respectively.
The Lancers must now face the fifth seed, most likely Spring Arbor, in the conference tournament later this week. Grace won a memorable 5-4 win over the Cougars on Sept. 30 earlier this year, when Allan won the deciding match at an indoor court after darkness halted play outdoors.
Grace will complete its regular season with a matchup at Defiance College at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
1. Michael Blevins (GC) def. Brice Fairchild (MU) 6-4, 6-3
2. Andrew Voss (MU) def. Nikola Todorovic (GC) 6-2, 6-2
3. Adam Bedwell (GC) def. Brad Mustin (GC) 6-4, 6-2
4. Will Dixon (MU) def. Josh Beguin (GC) 7-5, 6-2
5. Jon Allan (GC) def. Stedman Carmony (MU) 6-4, 6-2
6. Kyle Luckiewicz (MU) def. Brad Goshen (GC) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
1. Blevins/Todorovic (GC) def. Fairchild/Dixon (MU) 8-2
2. Voss/Mustin (MU) def. Bedwell/Beguin (GC) 8-2
3. Joe Nelson/Jeff Graf (MU) def. Allan/Snowden (GC) 8-5
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace's match against Spring Arbor was tied 4-4 when Lancers' sophomore Jonathan Allan ran out of daylight. Literally.
Unable to finish his match at #5 singles because of daylight, Allan and the team had to travel to the Warsaw Racquet Club, an indoor tennis center, to finish his third set. The winner of the set determined the outcome of the match. On top of that, a victory would put the Lancers in sole possession of third place in the MCC.
"I had momentum after coming back from an 0-5 start in the first set," Allan said. "I was frustrated because I let him get back in a tiebreak in the second set. But I was glad I got to play indoors because I usually play better there."
Allan's 6-3 win in the third set came in front of approximately 25-30 fans that filled the neighboring tennis court. His match ended four and a half hours after the match began with doubles play. "It was cool seeing the support that was there even from guys that normally wouldn’t show up at a tennis match," Allan said.
After finishing last in the MCC one year ago, the Lancers (6-4; 4-2 MCC) have clinched at least a third-place tie this year, depending on their final conference match against Marian on Saturday.
The Lancers also had victories at #1 singles (Michael Blevins), #4 singles (Josh Beguin), #1 doubles (Blevins, Nikola Todorovic) and #3 doubles (Allan, Parker Snowden).
"It was nice turning the season around after finishing last by a big margin a year ago and to this year getting third," Allan said. "The last few weeks, the team has been able to come together which has been awesome."
1. Michael Blevins (GC) Rafael Schuster (SAU) 6-2, 6-0
2. David Darling (SAU) def. Nikola Todorovic (GC) 6-1, 6-0
3. Kyle McCully (SAU) def. Adam Bedwell (GC) 7-5, 6-2
4. Josh Beguin (GC) def. Chris Swank (SAU) 6-1, 7-5
5. Jonathan Allan (GC) def. Patrick McIlrath (SAU) 7-5, 6-8, 6-3
6. Tim Smolen (SAU) def. Brad Goshen (GC) 6-0, 6-2
1. Blevins/Todorovic (GC) def. Schuster/McCully (SAU) 8-2
2. Darling/Nathan Scholten (SAU) def. Bedwell/Beguin (GC) 8-3
3. Snowden/Allan (GC) def. Swank/McIlrath (SAU) 8-5
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – The last time Grace’s men’s tennis team won five matches in a season was six years ago. The Lancers have already earned five victories in 2009 with four matches remaining.
The Lancers (5-4; 3-2 MCC) defeated Huntington University 7-2 on Saturday. Grace lost matches at #1 and #3 singles and won every doubles match.
Freshman Nikola Todorovic defeated Martin Vivas at #2 singles to remain undefeated in conference play.
“Nikola has been a rock for us,” said men’s tennis head coach Larry Schuh. “He has a tough matchup coming up against Spring Arbor, and we're looking forward to it.”
The victory is Grace’s fourth in a row and third conference win in a row.
"We are just hoping to keep the ball rolling," Schuh continued. "We want to finish out strong to get good seeds and have a good showing in the conference tournament. Ultimately, we want to finish third."
The Foresters fall to 2-4 and 1-3 in conference play.
Grace plays Spring Arbor at home at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
1. Gonzalo Vivas (HU) def. Michael Blevins (GC) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. Todorovic (GC) def. Vivas (HU) 6-1, 6-0
3. Jameel Brenneman (HU) def. Adam Bedwell (GC) 6-4 6-2
4. Josh Beguin (GC) def. Jon Brenneman (HU) 6-3, 6-4
5. Jonathan Allan (GC) def. Keaton McDonald (HU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Brad Goshen (GC) def. Paul Hageman (HU) 5-7, 6-3, 10-8
1. Blevins/Todorovic (GC) def. G. Vivas/M. Vivas (HU) 8-4
2. Bedwell/Beguin (GC) def. Ja. Brenneman/Jo. Brenneman (HU) 8-4
3. Snowden/Allan (GC) def. McDonald/Hageman (HU) 9-8 (7-5)
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Grace's men's tennis team improved to .500 overall with a 9-0 sweep over Manchester College on Tuesday.
The Lancers started off winning all three doubles matches in dominating fashion. Adam Bedwell and Josh Beguin combined for the closest double match with an 8-3 victory.
The men continued to flex their muscles in singles play, winning all six matches in straight sets. Grace's record improves to 4-4 (2-2 MCC) on the year. The men return to action Thursday, when Defiance College travels to Miller Field. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.
1. Blevins (GC) def. Piero Ridoutt (MC) 6-1, 6-0
2. Todorovic (GC) def. Josh Walker (MC) 6-0, 7-5
3. Adam Bedwell (GC) def. Jeremy Patterson (MC) 6-1, 6-2
4. Josh Beguin (GC) def. Collin Bishopp (MC) 6-1, 6-1
5. Jonathan Allan (GC) def. Dustin Schutte (MC) 6-4, 6-3
6. Matt Russell (GC) def. Kyle Watson (MC) 6-0, 6-0
1. Blevins/Todorovic (GC) def. Walker/Ridoutt (MC) 8-2
2. Bedwell/Beguin (GC) def. Patterson/Bishopp (MC) 8-3
3. Allan/Snowden (GC) def. Schutte/Watson (MC) 8-1
CEDARVILLE, Ohio -- Freshmen Michael Blevins and Nikola Todorovic, Grace's #1 and #2 singles players, represented the Lancers at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) Regional Championships on Thursday and Friday at Cedarville University.
The format was a 32-player single elimination tournament bracket for singles play and a 16-team single elimination bracket for doubles play.
Blevins defeated Spring Arbor's David Darling 7-6(4) and 6-4 in his opening match before falling to Taylor University's Felipe Bedon in two close sets. Bedon went on to lose in the quarterfinals.
Todorovic lost in the opening round to Indiana Wesleyan's Micah May 4-6 and 4-6.
Blevins and Todorovic also participated in doubles play, advancing to the quarterfinals before falling to Ohio Dominican University's Bernardo Feitosa and Claude Badowski. Todorovic got his revenge on May in the opening round when he and Blevins upset the #2 seed May and Ben Biscoff of Indiana Wesleyan, 8-6.
The Lancers' next match is on Tuesday at Manchester at 4:30 p.m.
First Round: Blevins (GC) def. Darling (SA) 7-6(4), 6-4
Second Round: Bedon (TU) def. Blevins (GC) 6-4, 7-5(5)
First Round: May (IWU) def. Todorovic (GC) 6-4, 6-4
First Round: Blevins/Todorovic (GC) def. May/Biscoff (IWU) 8-6
Quarterfinals: Bernardo Feitosa/ Badowski (ODU) def. Blevins/Todorovic 8-6
GOSHEN, Ind. – Grace’s men’s tennis team won its second conference game on Tuesday with a 5-4 win over Goshen College. The win was the Lancers's (2-3; 2-2 MCC) second in a row over the Maple Leafs, including one in the Goshen Invitational three days ago.
The dynamic freshmen duo (Michael Blevins and Nikola Todorovic) were a part of three wins for the Lancers in #1 and #2 singles, as well as #1 doubles. Todorovic continues his MCC dominance in #2 singles, where he is 4-0 this season.
"It's been such a long time since we've won conference matches so that each one is starting to build more confidence in the program," said head coach Larry Schuh. "We see it as being a perfectly realistic thing to finish third in conference with a 5-2 record. It's a very positive, winning atmosphere finally."
1. Blevins (GC) def. Aaron Sutter (GOSH) 6-2, 6-4
2. Todorovic (GC) def. Joel King (GOSH) 6-2, 6-2
3. Alejandro Davalos (GOSH) def. Adam Bedwell (GC) 6-1, 6-2
4. Chanuk Algama (GOSH) def. Josh Beguin (GC) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
5. Benjamin Basnet (GOSH) def. Jonathan Allan (GC) 6-2, 6-4
6. Brad Goshen (GC) def. Daniel Buschert (GOSH) 7-5, 6-4
1. Blevins/Todorovic (GC) def. Sutter/King (GOSH) 8-4
2. Bedwell/Beguin (GC) def. Davalos/Algama (GOSH) 8-5
3. Basnet/Buschert (GOSH) def. Allan/Snowden (GC) 8-6
GOSHEN, Ind. – Grace’s men’s tennis team took second place in the Goshen Invitational on Saturday and earned their second win of the season. Spring Arbor took first place and Goshen finished in third.
The Lancers (2-4; 1-2 MCC) fell to Spring Arbor 2-7 and defeated Goshen 5-4. Neither of the matches effect the teams’ conference records.
In their loss to Spring Arbor, the Lancers earned one point through Michael Blevins (#1 singles) and another point through Blevins and Nikola Todorovic (#1 doubles.)
In Grace’s victory over Goshen, a team that beat Spring Arbor on Sept. 9, Blevins (#1 singles), Todorovic (#2 singles) and Brad Goshen (#6 singles) earned three points in singles play. Blevins and Todorovic (#1 doubles) along with Jonathan Allan and Parker Snowden (#3 doubles) scored the last two points Grace needed to earn the victory.
“It gave us a good picture of Goshen,” said head coach Larry Schuh. “We have them on Tuesday. If we can play as well as we did today, that will give us another conference win. We were last in the conference last year, so any conference team we beat we will keep us moving up in the conference.”
Grace travels to Goshen on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. start.
SPRING ARBOR (7) GRACE (2)
1. Michael Blevins (GC) def. David Darling (SA)
2. Kyle Mccully (SA) def. Nikola Todorovic (GC)
3. Chris Swank (SA) def. Adam Bedwell (GC)
4. Patrick McIlrath (SA) def. Josh Beguin (GC)
5. Tim Smolen (SA) def. Jonathan Allan (GC)
6. Nathan Scholten (SA) def. Brad Goshen (GC)
1. Blevins/Todorovic (GC) def. Darling/Mccully (SA)
2. Swank/Scholten (SA) def. Bedwell/Beguin (GC)
3. McIlrath/Smolen (SA) def. Allan/Snowden (GC)
GRACE (5) GOSHEN (4)
1. Michael Blevins (GC) def. Aaron Sutter (GOSH)
2. Todorovic (GC) def. Joel King (GOSH)
3. Alejandro Davalos (GOSH) def. Adam Bedwell (GC)
4. Chanuk Algama (GOSH) def. Josh Beguin (GC)
5. Benjamin Basnet (GOSH) def. Jonathan Allan (GC)
6. Brad Goshen (GC) def. Daniel Buschert (GOSH)
1. Blevins/Todorovic (GC) def. Sutter/King (GOSH)
2. Davalos/Algama (GOSH) def. Bedwell/Beguin (GC)
3. Allan/Snowden (GC) def. Basnet/Buschert (GOSH)
UPLAND -- Freshman Nikola Todorovic continued his undefeated season in #2 singles on Saturday, winning in straight sets against Taylor.
"It's a pretty big deal for Nikola to be 3-0 in conference," said head coach Larry Schuh. "After beating the top two teams in the MCC, it pretty much clears the way for him to be the top player in conference at that spot."
Overall, Grace's men's tennis team fell 1-8 to Taylor, with freshman Michael Blevins losing another tough battle at #1 singles in three sets.
Up next for the Lancers is Marian College. The match is scheduled for 3:30 pm at Miller Field.
1. Felipe Bedon (TAYLOR) def. Blevins (GRC) 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-5)
2. Todorovic (GRC) def. Bryce Perkins (TAYLOR) 6-0, 6-3
3. Luke Tilden (TAYLOR) def. Adam Bedwell (GRC) 6-3, 6-2
4. Jack Reed (TAYLOR) def. Josh Beguin (GRC) 6-2, 7-6 (2-0)
5. Steve Erny (TAYLOR) def. Jonathan Allan (GRC) 6-3, 6-3
6. Wes Nitzsche (TAYLOR) def. Brad Goshen (GRC) 6-2, 6-3
1. Reed/Bedon (TAYLOR) def. Todorovic/Blevins (GRC) 8-2
2. Perkins/Tilden (TAYLOR) def. Beguin/Bedwell (GRC) 8-3
3. Erny/Andrew Gnagy (TAYLOR) def. Jonathan/Parker Snowden (GRC) 8-1
The Grace College men's tennis team has waited a long time for this.
Four years to be exact.
For the first time in nearly half a decade, the men's tennis program has recorded a conference win, defeating Bethel College 5-4 on Thursday. As has been the theme for this year's team, the freshmen led the way again with wins in #1 (Michael Blevins), #2 (Nikola Todorovic), and #4 singles (Josh Beguin).
"Today was a huge confidence boost for us," said head coach Larry Schuh. "The freshmen carried the day for us."
Blevins and Todorovic also teamed up for a win in #1 doubles. Beguin and senior Adam Bedwell recorded the other win in #2 doubles.
"This confidence is exactly what we need for a run in conference -- maybe even this year," Schuh said.
1. Blevins (GC) def. Nathan Baker (BC) 6-3, 6-3
2. Todorovic (GC) def. Stephen Ward (BC) 6-1, 6-3
3. Alex Tsikouris (BC) def. Adam Bedwell (GC) 6-3, 6-0
4. Josh Beguin (GC) def. Robby Hamman (BC) 6-7, 6-3, 7-5
5. Joe Rallo (BC) def. Jonathan Allan (GC) 6-3, 6-7, 6-0
6. Rosten Hamman (GC) def. Matt Russell (GC) 6-4, 6-1
1. Todorovic/Blevins (GC) def. Ward/Tsikouris (BC) 8-5
2. Beguin/Bedwell (GC) def. Baker/Rob. Hamman (BC) 9-8
3. Rallo/Ros. Hammon (BC) def. Jonathan/Parker Snowden (GC) 8-4
In the first conference game of the season, the Grace College men's tennis team lost 2-7 at Indiana Wesleyan. The Lancers' freshmen played strong for the second consecutive match this year.
Nikola Todorovic was a part of both winning matches, taking a win in #2 singles (6-1, 6-3) as well as in #1 doubles with fellow freshman Michael Blevins.
In #1 doubles, both sides played to a 8-8 tie in the pro set. In the tiebreaker, Blevins and Todorovic edged out their opponents with a 7-5 margin to take the deciding ninth game.
"The freshmen had a good showing again," said head coach Larry Schuh. "We just need to improve our depth and we'll be alright."
1. Matt Pedersen (IWU) def. Blevins (GRC) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
2. Todorovic (GRC) def. Ben Bischoff (IWU) 6-1, 6-3
3. Micah May (IWU) def. Adam Bedwell (GRC) 6-1, 6-1
4. Carson VandenBossche (IWU) def. Josh Beguin (GRC) 6-2, 6-0
5. Luke Montgomery (IWU) def. Jonathan Allan (GRC) 6-1, 6-1
6. Brooks Aryes (IWU) def. Matt Russell (GRC) 6-1, 6-0
1. Todorovic/Blevins (GRC) def. Bischoff/May (IWU) 9-8
2. Pedersen/VandenBossche (IWU) def. Beguin/Bedwell (GRC) 8-4
3. Montgomery/Stoddard (IWU) def. Allan/Parker Snowden (GRC) 8-3
The 2009 Grace College men’s tennis team fell to the University of Northwestern Ohio 2-7 on Saturday in their first match of the year.
.Freshmen Michael Blevins (#1 singles) and Nikola Todorovic (#2 singles) surprised the Northwestern Ohio's top two players, defeating them in straight sets.
The Lancers are back in action Sept. 1st at Indiana Wesleyan.