ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – In a rematch of 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship match, Valdosta State gained a measure of revenge as the Blazers defeated Barry 5-2 to win the 2011 national title.
As with the 2010 championship, Valdosta State jumped out to a 2-1 lead after doubles play. The Blazers cruised through the first two points as Philip Pakebusch and Luis Loeffler rebounded from a first game loss at No. 2 to take the next seven games. The Barry duo of Marco Mokrzycki and Quentin Vachez rebounded to win the ninth game, only to have VSU close out the match with an 8-2 victory in the next game.
Daniel Dueren and Christian Hansen gave the Blazers a second point at No. 1 doubles as they defeated Emanuel Fraitzl and Max Wimmer 8-3. Valdosta State’s top team won the first give games of the match and eventually built a 7-1 lead before Fraitzl and Wimmer claimed back-to-back game wins. However, Dueren and Hansen rebounded to hold serve for the victory.
Barry’s only point of doubles play came at No. 3 where Oliver Lemaitre and Sergio Velez overcame an early deficit to claim an 8-6 victory. Valdosta State’s Otto Lenhart and Bernhard Wallner won the first four games of the match, only to have Lemairtre and Velez win three of the next four. The Barry duo eventually took a 6-5 advantage and after, Lenhart and Wallner evened the match, won the final two games to give the Bucs their first point.
Barry evened the match at 2-2 as it claimed the first singles point at No. 6. Romain Costamanga dropped the first game of the first set, before rebounding to win the next six for a first set victory. The Buc player also won the first three games of the second set before VSU’s Lenhart battled back to close within 5-3. However, Costamanga held serve for the final point to even the team score.
Kutschenko put Valdosta State back in front with a straight sets victory at No. 5. over Lemaitre. The duo played a closely contested first set that saw Lemaitre hold the largest lead at 5-3, but Kutschenko fought back to close to within 6-5 and then broke his opponent to force the tie-break, which he easily won 7-2 for a first set 7-6 victory. Kutschenko won the first four games of the second set to cruise to a 6-1 victory.
Hansen put the Blazers on the brink of the championship as he claimed a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 victory over Mokrzycki at No. 3. Hansen raced out to a 4-1 lead in the first set, only to have the Barry player fight back to even the game at 4-4 and against at 6-6. Holding a 5-4 advantage in the tie break, the VSU player claimed the final two points for the first set victory. Mokrzycki jumped out to an early 2-1 lead in the second set, only to have Hansen fight back to even the match at 3-3 and eventually claim a 5-3 lead en route to the victory.
Loeffler closed out the match with a straight set win at No. 4 over Vachez. Loeffler built a big 4-1 advantage in the first set, but Vachez fought back to claim a 6-5 advatange before Loeffler held serve to force the tie break. Loeffler again led in the tie break as he built a 5-3 advantage en route to an 8-6 victory to win the first set 7-6. The first six games of the second set were just as close as the first match before Loeffler took advantage of the match when he broke serve and held his own. A return on a shot by Loeffler sailed wide to the right to close out the championship.
With the victory, Valdosta State won its second national championship in the six years. The Blazers finish the season with a 21-1 record.