Kabacy Reaches Round of 16 in Singles at ITA Northwest Regional

Andrew Kabacy concentrates on the ball before hitting a groundstroke.
Andrew Kabacy (Grad., Vancouver, WA/Skyview HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Andrew Kabacy (Grad., Vancouver, WA/Skyview HS) of Willamette University won his first match in the "A" singles bracket to advance into the Round of 16 at the ITA Northwest Regional on Friday, Sept. 30.  The tournament is being hosted by Lewis & Clark College at the Vancouver Tennis Center and will continue through Sunday, Oct. 2. In addition to Kabacy, several other Bearcats competed in singles and doubles on Friday.

Kabacy, one of four players seeded #5 through #8 in the "A" singles bracket, won his first round match over Alle Banna from George Fox University in a super tie-breaker played instead of a third set, 6-2, 3-6, 10-7. Kabacy will take on Diego Guzman of Whitman College in the Round of 16 on Saturday at 10 a.m. (PDT).

Also in the "A" singles bracket, Willamette's Velibor Mladenovic (Fy., Belgrade, Serbia) lost in the first round to #3-seeded Austin Stone of George Fox, 6-2, 6-1. Mladenovic is scheduled to compete in the "A" consolation bracket against Braden Sawyer from the University of Puget Sound at 11:15 a.m.

In doubles, Kabacy and Quentin Nigbur (Sr., Newberg, OR/Newberg HS) opened the action with an 8-3 victory over Mike Smolskis and Rene Del Barco of Puget Sound. In the Round of 16, Kabacy and Nigbur lost in a tie-breaker to Noah Baker and Guzman from Whitman, 8-7 (7-5). Baker and Guzman form one of four doubles teams seeded #5 through #8.

The main doubles bracket also included Andre Lief (So., Anchorage, AK/West Anchorage HS) and Luca Casano (Fy., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) from Willamette plus the team of Andrew Kropp (Sr., Bend, OR/Summit HS) and Mladenovic for the Bearcats. Lief and Casano lost in the opening round to Payton Romey and Nathan Tjelle of Whitworth University, 8-2. Kropp and Mladenovic were defeated in the first round by #3-seeded Lars Schmassmann and Rex Rogers of GFU, 8-4.

In the consolation doubles bracket, Lief and Casano fell to Artem Manov and Charlie Rush of Whitman, 8-2, while Kropp and Mladenovic were downed by Sawyer and Will Church from Puget Sound, 8-4. Earlier on Friday, Garrett Thornhill (Fy., Bandon, OR/Mountainside HS) and Trey Allen (So., Tucson, AZ/BASIS Tucson North HS) competed in a doubles qualifying match, with the winner earning a spot in the main doubles bracket. Thornhill and Allen lost to Matthew Merzbach and David Lybeck of Puget Sound, 8-1.

Five Willamette players competed in qualifying matches for the "B" singles bracket. Winners for the Bearcats in the qualifiers were Allen and Casano. Allen won 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 in a match that ended with a super tie-breaker against Wyatt Zagyva of Linfield University. Casano moved past Daisuke Fitial, also from Linfield, 6-2, 6-4.

In other "B" singles qualifying matches, Jake Freeland (Fy., Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) of Willamette fell to Max Chen of Whitman, 6-3, 6-2, while Thornhill lost to Lybeck of Puget Sound, 6-2, 6-1, and Lief was defeated by Levi Buck of Puget Sound, 6-2, 6-4. Thornhill and Lief each received a bye in the "B" qualifying singles consolation bracket. At 4 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, Thornhill will take on Zagyva of Linfield, while Lief will take on the winner between Freeland of Willamette and Fitial of Linfield. The Freeland versus Fitial match is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Nigbur and Casano each won for Willamette in the "B" singles main bracket. Nigbur defeated Brandon Pham from Pacific University, 6-1, 6-3. Casano outlasted Spencer Loucks of Lewis & Clark in a super tie-breaker, 6-3, 1-6, 11-9. Nigbur will battle Del Barco of Puget Sound on Saturday at 11 a.m. (PDT), while Casano will take on #2-seed Charlie Rush of Whitman at 12 p.m. on Saturday.

Kropp and Alen lost in the first round of the "B" singles bracket. Kropp was edged out by Matous Young of Linfield in a super tie-breaker, 7-6 (6-4), 3-6, 11-9. Allen dropped his match against Matthew Merzbach of Puget Sound, 6-1, 6-3. On Saturday in the "B" singles consolation bracket, Kropp will play Gunnar Woller from Whitman at 12:30 p.m. (PDT) and Allen will match-up against Jordan Cousineau of Pacific at 1 p.m.