Shaw Men’s Tennis advances back to National Tournament

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    Biltmore Hills Park – Tennis is serious.

    When I arrived at Biltmore Hills Park, I wasn’t so sure that a football
    games wasn’t going on. With all of the yelling and “motivational speak”
    that was going on and at times “unintentional” taunting, this could not be
    tennis.

    That is how the game is played especially at the collegiate level.

    After getting down 3-0 losing all three doubles, an argument between
    players and a coach from opposing teams which led to a 10-minute delay,
    the Shaw men’s tennis team roared back to win 5-of-6 singles matches to
    defeat visiting Bloomsburg 5-4 for the right to move on to the NCAA
    Division II National Tournament.

    For the Bears it was the second-straight year they hosted and won the
    regional.

    “We lost our focus in the middle of the game,” said head coach Sunday
    Enitan. “We should have won at least one of three doubles.”

    During the contest, Bloomsburg coach Marty Coyne argued a call with a
    tennis official which led to an argument between Coyne and Shaw players,
    which led to the 10-minute delay.

    The delay allowed Shaw to regroup and refocus.

    Number three singles player Charles Silva got the first win for the Bears
    over the Huskies’ Lee Wexler 6-1, 6-2. Shortly thereafter, Daniel Vasquez
    turned in a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Bloomsburg’s Jeff Nuhfer in the number
    four singles slot.

    Gabriel Nicotra then tied the match with a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Mark
    Schroeder at number two. All three remaining matches all went into a
    third set.

    Bloomsburg’s Mike DiSanto downed Shaw’s Andre Monti 6-1, 6-7, and 7-3 in
    the tiebreaker in the number six slot.
    Artur Latypov, Shaw’s number one, won his first set easily 6-1, but
    dropped the second set 6-1 to Ricky Dove. Latypov bounced back and
    claimed the third set 6-3 to tie the match at four apiece.

    With the fifth singles remaining and the match tied 4-4, Shaw’s Juan
    Sanchez took on Tyler Pultro. Pultro took the first set 6-3, but Sanchez
    rebounded with a 6-4 decision in the second.

    After holding a 3-0 lead early in the third set, Sanchez allowed Pultro
    back in the set. Tied at 5-5, Sanchez held serve to go up 6-5 and then
    broke Pultro’s serve to take the set and match with a 7-5 score.

    This year’s match was eerily similar to last year’s match against
    Bluefield State, where the Bears got down early, came back, and the last
    match was won by Shaw, which led the Bears to victory.

    Shaw, winners of eight-straight CIAA Championships, advances to the NCAA
    National Tournament May 16-19 in Louisville.

    Other HBCU Sports News
    Thompson Drafted: South Carolina State safety Christian Thompson was the
    only player from an HBCU taken in the 2012 NFL Draft. Thompson was taken
    in the 4th round (130th overall) by the Baltimore Ravens.

    “This can’t be real,” Thompson said when I asked about his initial
    reaction to being drafted. “One of my favorites teams was calling me and
    there was a possibility they were going to be drafting me.

    “When I saw my name come across that screen, I was ecstatic. I really
    didn’t know what to say or what to do.”

    What makes being drafted by the Ravens more special is the fact that
    Thompson was a huge fan growing up of Ravens free safety and future Hall
    of Famer Ed Reed.

    Prior to the draft Thompson had a chance meeting with Reed through his
    agent. Thompson’s agent works with some financial advisors that Reed
    works with and setup a meeting between the two.

    “Once I met him in person we stayed in contact and shot each other a
    couple of text every now and then,” said Thompson. “[Growing up in North
    Lauderdale and cheering for University of Miami] He and Sean Taylor were
    my favorite players.”

    Thompson reports to Ravens rookie minicamp on May 10.

    I wasn’t surprised that Thompson got drafted; however I was surprised at
    the number of HBCU players who did not. In most peoples estimation,
    Bethune-Cookman defensive end Ryan Davis was one of the best players in
    all of Black College Football and after his pro day performance as well as
    the pro day performance he had as an invitee to the University of Miami
    pro day, he was projected to be anywhere from a 3rd – 5th round. Three
    days passed and Davis’s name did not pass across the screen.

    “I expected to be drafted, but that’s the way it goes,” Davis said.
    Davis, a native of Tampa, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    In my estimation there were at least four legitimate potential draftees
    including Thompson and Davis, PVAMU defensive end Adrian Hamilton the
    Boxtorow Willie Davis National Defensive Player of the Year, who
    registered 20.5 sacks this year, and Hampton’s Micah Pellerin who along
    with Thompson was the only other HBCU player invited to the NFL combine.
    Grambling wide receiver Mario Louis, who head coach and Grambling Legend
    Doug Williams called the best NFL prospect he has ever coached (that is
    saying something because Williams coached former Lions fifth round draft
    choice Scotty Anderson), could have been drafted had he played previous to
    his senior season and South Carolina State defensive back Dominique Ellis
    also had chances to be drafted.

    This year’s class was more talented than last year’s where three players
    were drafted.

    Typically punters aren’t drafted so Fort Valley State’s Marquette King, who
    signed a three-year free agent deal with the Oakland Raiders, is like
    being drafted.

    Who knows, King could become the next Ray Guy.

    All of the aforementioned players have signed contracts and so have these
    players:

    Bethune-Cookman’s Ryan Davis (Jaguars)
    Fort Valley State’s Marquette King (Raiders)
    Hampton’s Micha Micah Pellerin (Colts)
    South Carolina State’s Dominique Ellis (Chiefs)
    South Carolina State’s Donovan Richard (Jaguars)
    Grambling’s Mario Louis (Texans)
    Prairie View A&M’s Adrian Hamilton (Cowboys)
    Morgan State’s Lamont Bryant (Ravens)
    Jackson State’s Casey Therriault (Falcons)
    Jackson State’s Donovan Robinson (Jets)
    Florida A&M’s Kevin Elliott (Jaguars)
    Tennessee State’s Rico Council (Falcons)
    Tennessee State’s Donte’e Nicholls (Buccaneers)
    Tennessee State’s Joseph Wylie (Dolphins)
    Bowie State’s Delano Johnson (Texans)
    Winston-Salem State’s Nic Cooper (Packers)
    Howard’s Willie Carter (Redskins)
    Tuskegee’s DeMario Pippen (Broncos)
    LaQuinton Evans (Titans)
    Bethune-Cookman’s Jean Fanor (Chiefs)
    Southern’s Jared Green (Panthers)
    Morgan State’s Zary Stewart (Bears)

    Known as the Voice of Black College Sports, Donal Ware has covered historically black college and university sports and pro sports across the U.S. for years. He is the host of the nationally syndicated FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW which airs on SiriusXM Channel 141 Fridays from 1-2 p.m. and on radio stations around the country including Saturdays from 11-Noon on WAUG-AM 750 in the Triangle and from 1-2 p.m. at http://www.boxtorow.com You can follow him on twitter @dware1 or @boxtorow

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