Kuykendall Lone Bright Spot as Men's Tennis Bows From Regionals
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Freshman Nathan Kuykendall was the lone bright spot as the John Brown men's tennis team (2-9) closed out the 2016 season with a third-straight setback to Southwestern Christian (Okla.), this time in the NAIA Unaffiliated regional tournament quarterfinals this afternoon (April 21) at the Arlington Tennis Center.
The Golden Eagles entered the regional tournament, which featured teams from the Sooner Athletic Conference, Red River Athletic Conference and the Association of Independent Institutions, as the fifth seed. The Eagles (6-2), which had entered the tournament winners in five of its last six, claimed the third seed.
JBU had to attempt to take out a team which ended the regular season with a pair of wins over the Golden Eagles, once a 7-2 score and the other a 5-4 tally.
Southwestern Christian took an early 2-1 lead by grabbing the top and bottom doubles flights in convincing fashion. The Golden Eagles ended the shutout bid when freshman Fernando Hurley and Kuykendall bested Stephen Baker and Brady Matthews, 9-7.
Armed with some momentum, SCU jumped to a 3-1 lead by taking the top singles flight, but again, Kuykendall scored John Brown points. At the fourth slot, Kuykendall derailed Brady Matthews by a 6-1, 6-1, final, allowing him to finish the season with four consecutive singles victories.
However, the Eagles cruised to two more singles victories at three and five to capture the final score.
In tournament play, matches end as soon as one team reaches five points.
Kuykendall ends the season with a 7-4 singles record and, teamed with Hurley, posted a 7-4 mark in doubles play. He is the only player to finish the season above .500 for the Golden Eagles.