Kearney, Neb. – The Air Force Falcons won three third-set tie breakers to edge the 18th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney men’s tennis team, 4-3, Monday evening at Harmon Park. With the Falcons heading to Creighton tomorrow, this was a rare chance for UNK (12-3) to host a Division I team. The dual, played under D1 scoring rules, was pushed back 3.5 hours due to weather. USAFA (10-8), from the Mountain West Conference, won all three doubles matches to grab the team point. However, UNK won the first set in four of the six singles matches and then took the second set in the ones it trailed in.
At the top spot, freshman Sri Aakash Reddiyar (Malaysia) beat Isaac Perez in straight sets (7-5, 6-4) with senior Joey Richards rallying past Paul Hendrix in the first set, 7-6 (3) at number five. Richards (Eden Prairie, Minn.) then won the next set, 6-3. Freshman Diias Meiirbek (Kazakhstan) needed three sets to beat Max Olson at number four (6-7, 7-6 (3), 6-3). He has now won three singles matches in a row and improves to 4-0 at number four. However, USAFA won the other three singles battles in three sets. Junior Pepe Balado (Spain) fell to Patrick Sklenka at number two by a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 score with Luke Sanderson having an interesting three-set win over English junior Johnnie Carmichael at number three (6-3, 3-6, 7-6). Finally, Sean McKendree tallied the clinching dual point with a win at number six (4-6, 6-4, 6-1). Both Loper squads are at Northwest Missouri State on Wednesday with the 37th-ranked women also facing Fort Hays State (Friday) and Missouri Western State (Saturday) on the road this weekend.