Plano, TX—The Marion Military Institute Tigers tallied four first-round wins and won one consolation championship to garner a 16th-place finish at the 2015 NJCAA Men's Tennis Championship. Championship play, which ran from Monday, May 11 through Friday, May 15, was held at Collin College's 12-court tennis facility.
The Tigers pulled out four first-round wins (two in singles and two in doubles) on the first day of play. In singles action, Kaiser De Leon, MMI's No. 1 singles player, claimed MMI's first tournament points with a decisive 6-1, 6-2 win over Mississippi Gulf Coast's Skylar Flowers. Andrew Wright defeated Taylor Tamberg (Jones County Junior College/Ellisville, MS), 6-1, 6-3. Then, in doubles play, MMI's top-two tandems of Morgan Hale/Andrew Wright and Kaiser De Leon/Javier de Claire rounded out the Tiger scoring for the day. Hale and Wright prevailed 6-3, 6-4 over the solid Paradise Valley Community College (Phoenix, AZ) tandem of Evan Gazic and Zach Heckeroff, and De Leon and de Claire polished off Jones College's Austin Baskin and Robert Kiewit, 6-1, 6-3.
In other first-round singles action, MMI's Hale was nipped by New Mexico Military Institute's Julian Hawkins, 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4, at No. 2 singles. MMI suffered additional singles losses at flights 4, 5, and 6 to traditional tennis powerhouses Cowley College, Collin College, and Cowley College, respectively.
With victories over Mississippi Gulf Coast (8-4) and Jones County (8-6), Ryder produced two more points for MMI by winning the consolation draw at No. 4 singles.
Hale won two rounds in the consolation bracket before falling 8-4 to Seward's Vitor Galvao. Hale downed Osiris Carroll (Prairie State College/Chicago Heights, IL), 8-1, and Miles Munro (Jacksonville College/Jacksonville, TX), 8-0. Hale's two wins added one point to MMI's total team score.