DePaul ousted at Big East tourney
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
The fifth-seeded DePaul men’s tennis team’s campaign at the Big East Conference tournament in Tampa, was cut short with a first round loss against No.4 seed University of South Florida. With the loss, the 2011-2012 season officially came to a close.
“I was happy with the way the guys fought,” said Coach Matt Brothers. “We had a tough draw in South Florida. As much as their ranking didn’t show it, they were a quality team.”
Although the Blue Demons lost 4-0 against USF, the match up was competitive throughout. Both teams battled hard to earn the doubles point. At first, it appeared the team was on its way to a strong performance after seniors George Chanturia and Filip Dzanko took the first of three double matches, 8 games to 5.
Instead, it was downhill from there. USF took the next two matches, 8-6 and 8-4. According to Brothers, doubles was a part of a list of problems that the team experienced during the tournament.
“I wouldn’t put doubles at the top [of our problems]. I would say fitness-wise, we definitely have to make some changes there,” he said. “We had some issues with cramping, which I’ve never had.”
The singles didn’t fair any better against USF.
Sven Kasper, Filip Dzanko and Mathias Hambach all suffered defeats to complete USF’s 4-0 sweep. The losses bounced DePaul into the consolation bracket where they were scheduled to face eighth-seeded Villanova. Storms delayed and eventually canceled the consolation matches.
As the season wrapped up, DePaul’s brutal schedule finally came to an end. The Blue Demons finished their season 11-15 and played 12 ranked teams—one of the program’s toughest schedules to date. In that time frame, the Blue Demons team saw its fair share of ups and downs.
The Blue Demons started fast. Heading in to March, the team boasted a 9-5 record and was ranked 75 in the nation. Through the months of March and April, the team’s success collapsed as the team went 2-6 with losses to South Alabama State and Georgia State at the Sunbelt shoot out as well as conference opponents Marquette and Notre Dame.
“This was the toughest schedule we’ve ever put together,” he said. “Basically the lesson I learned you need a complete team. Basically in March and April, we were banged up a bit.”
“There’s not much room for error in this kind of a schedule. You can’t have a guy injured. You can’t have a guy struggling. I would say that we had one or the other all the year.”
Despite the finish at the conference tournament senior George Chanturia and sophomore Filip Dzanko were named to the 14-person All Big East roster.
Dzanko led DePaul with his 28-10 record and held the top singles position with a 14-5 mark. He held a 14-match winning streak that ran from Oct. 23-Feb.25.
Chanturia has been named to the All-BIG EAST roster for the second straight season. He held a 24-12 overall singles record this season while finishing 5-1 in his time in the top singles position. In tournament, Chanturia went 10-2 in singles play.
The doubles pairing of Chanturia and Dzanko finished 11-9 in the top position for DePaul.
Looking back, Coach Brothers was never disappointed in his players.
“I’m proud of the guys how they worked hard and fought hard. They did their best and that’s all you can ask.”