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
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
“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
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
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
Who knows, King could become the next Ray Guy.
All of the aforementioned players have signed contracts and so have these
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 www.boxtorow.com You can follow him on twitter @dware1 or @boxtorow