Men's Tennis Recent News
Peter Salomon and Romar Hernandez Etch Their Names into MMI Doubles History
Decatur, AL—Peter Salomon and Romar Hernandez completed a near-perfect season by winning the No. 1 doubles flight at the Alabama Community College Conference, 6-2, 6-1, on Saturday. With the win, the dynamic duo improved their record to 14-1 on the year.
“Peter and Romar played some excellent tennis this year,” Coach Wright said. “Neither of them is a great doubles player by himself, but the two of them together, with their tremendous gifts and strengths as tennis players, make an intriguing pair and a tough team to beat.”
Salomon also won MMI’s first USTA/ITA Southern Regional Doubles Championship in the fall of 2012 with his former doubles partner, Pil Ki Min.
Gabe Llewellyn Finishes Tennis Career with Unprecedented Four State Titles
Decatur, AL—Gabe Llewellyn capped his MMI tennis career by adding two more Alabama Community College Conference titles to his collection. Last year, Llewellyn claimed two titles at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. This year, he repeated the feat by winning 7-6 (4), 6-4 at No. 4 singles and 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles with Shepherd Newcomb.
“Llewellyn’s transformation as a tennis player from the beginning of last year to this year’s conference tournament has been nothing short of spectacular,” Coach Wright said. “If you saw Gabe play last year, you probably enjoyed a few good laughs at his expense. He was, to put it kindly, erratic. I had to wear a helmet every day to practice to protect myself from all of his stray shots. This year Gabe is having the last laugh. It just goes to show that hard work pays off. I’ve never seen a harder worker than Gabe. You might be faster, more coordinated, more everything than Gabe, but Gabe is going to beat you in the end because of his great work ethic. My helmet’s off to him. He has my utmost respect. Great job, Gabe! You are one of a kind.”
Shepherd Newcomb Crowned ACCC MVP in Men’s Tennis
Decatur, AL—Following in the footsteps of former Tiger standout Alex Fioravante, last year’s Alabama Community College Conference MVP, Shepherd Newcomb picked up this year’s MVP award by downing Gadsden State’s Aaron Triplett, 6-0, 6-0, at the No. 1 singles flight. Newcomb also teamed up with Gabe Llewellyn at No. 2 doubles to win that flight’s championship.
“All season long Shepherd has been our go-to guy,” Coach Wright said. “Although quiet by nature, Shepherd has an extremely fiery and competitive spirit. He leads by example, not with words. Whenever I asked him to do something for the team this year, he never balked at or fussed about it. He just did it. I am very proud of Shepherd and all of his accomplishments this year. He is a great team player and a fantastic young man.”
Newcomb finished 11-2 on the season at No. 1 singles and 13-2 at No. 2 doubles with Gabe Llewellyn.
Clutch Play Delivers ACCC Championship to Men’s Tennis Team
Decatur, AL—After Friday’s singles and doubles matches came to an end in opening-round play in the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) Tennis Tournament, the Marion Military Institute Tigers trailed the Gadsden State Cardinals, 8-6. With their backs against the wall, the Tigers had to return on Saturday to the Jimmy Johns Tennis Center and win all six matches they were slated to play. Four players—Shepherd Newcomb, Peter Salomon, Romar Hernandez, and Gabe Llewellyn—had to come up big in both singles and doubles play to bring home the conference crown. And step up they did. In a clutch performance for the ages, the Tigers won all six matches to take home the ACCC title by the narrowest of margins, 12-11.
Romar Hernandez got the day off to a good start with an impressive 6-0, 6-0 win over Faulkner State’s Martin Bryant. Hernandez’ victory was soon followed by two more impressive MMI singles wins. Shepherd Newcomb at No. 1 singles defeated Gadsden State’s Aaron Triplett, 6-0, 6-0, and Peter Salomon at No. 2 singles downed Gadsden’s Hayden Clowers, 6-2, 6-1.
In the match of the day, MMI’s Gabe Llewellyn won the first set, 7-6 (4), against Gadsden’s Jacob Mitchell before falling behind 3-4 in the second set. Llewellyn then reeled off three straight games to polish off the set and the match. Llewellyn’s sterling net play in those crucial last three games of the second set paved the way to the win.
With singles play in the books, doubles play, which would now determine the conference champion, was set to begin. The Tiger tandems of Peter Salomon and Romar Hernandez at No. 1 doubles and Shepherd Newcomb and Gabe Llewellyn at No. 2 doubles were the prohibitive favorites to win both matches. Both teams scored identical 6-2, 6-1 wins to secure the conference championship for the Marion Military Institute Tigers.
The men’s tennis team will now head to Collin College in Plano, Texas, to participate in the Men’s National Tennis Championships. Play will begin on Monday, May 12 and continue through Friday, May 17.
Tigers Sweep Golden Tigers in Rare Tennis Doubleheader, 5-1 and 5-2
Tuskegee, AL—Playing some of their finest tennis of the season, the MMI men took care of business in the first match of a rare tennis doubleheader against the Golden Tigers of Tuskegee University. The Tigers defeated the Tuskegee squad, 5-1. In match number 2, the Tigers upped their overall record to 10-3 with the 5-2 win.
The Tigers got off to a good start at the Pepsico Tennis Courts with solid doubles play at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Peter Salomon and Romar Hernandez downed Andrew Knight and Gabriel Byrd, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. Meanwhile, on Court 2, Shepherd Newcomb and Gabe Llewellyn, playing some inspired tennis, shut out O’Shane Trail and Arlon Williams, 8-0, for MMI’s second point of the afternoon. The Golden Tigers salvaged the third doubles point, 8-4.
In singles play, the Tigers swept the first three singles flights to wrap up the victory. Shepherd Newcomb at No. 1 singles (6-2, 6-0) and Peter Salomon at No. 2 singles (6-1, 6-1) played intensely and impressively to put the Tigers within one point of the win. Romar Hernandez earned the match win with his 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 3 singles.
In the second match of the afternoon, the Tigers again went 2-1 in doubles, notching wins at No. 1 doubles (8-0) and No. 2 doubles (8-1).
Shepherd Newcomb (6-4, 6-3), Peter Salomon (6-2, 6-1), and Robby Tabanguil (6-0, 6-0) picked up the three singles points needed to salt away the 5-2 win.
The Tigers return home to face Gadsden State Community College in an ACCC match on Sunday, April 14. Match play is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.
MMI Places 2nd in Stillman Invitational Tournament
Tuscaloosa, AL—On Day 1 of the Stillman Invitational Tournament, the MMI Tigers blanked Lane College 6-0 and then fell to host and tournament champion, Stillman College, 7-1. On Day 2, the Tigers scored easy wins over Rust College, 6-0, and Tougaloo College, 7-0, to wind up with an overall record of 3-1 and a second-place showing in the tournament. Spring Hill College was the other men’s team in the tournament field.
Game 1 in the tournament against Lane College provided little drama. The Tigers won No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles by virtue of forfeits, and then scored decisive 8-0 victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Robby Tabanguil and Peter Oppenhein closed out the scoring with identical 6-0, 6-0 shutouts at singles flights 2 and 4.
Stillman College added match win number 24 to its blotter against only two losses by downing the MMI Tigers, 8-1. Marion’s lone win came at first doubles when Peter Salomon and Romar Hernandez stormed back from a 0-3 hole to defeat Jangeon Lee and David Torres, 8-5. MMI’s No. 2 doubles team also put in a strong effort before falling 8-6 to Stillman’s Luis Mendoza and Vladyslav Zhryrov, 8-6. Shepherd Newcomb at No. 1 singles and Romar Hernandez at No. 3 singles played some solid tennis before falling to Lee, 6-2, 6-3, and Zhyrov, 6-4, 6-2, respectively. Robby Tabanguil played exceptionally well in his 4-6, 6-3, 10-1 loss to Santiago Robles at No. 5 singles.
The Tigers swept the doubles matches against their next opponent, Rust College, in convincing fashion, 8-4, 8-0, and 8-1. The bottom three spots in the lineup allowed only three games in six sets of tennis to seal the win for the Tigers. Shepherd Newcomb, Marion’s No. 1 player, led 6-0, 1-0 before play was stopped.
The Tigers swept the three doubles matches and four of the singles matches to bagel Tougaloo College, 7-0. MMI is now 8-3 on the year.
The Tigers travel to Tuskegee University to take on the Golden Tigers in a tennis doubleheader at the Pepsico Tennis Courts on Monday, April 8. Match play begins at 1:00 p.m.
Men’s Tennis Sweeps Meridian in Season Series with 6-3 Win
Marion, AL—Marion Military Institute claimed two of the three doubles matches to go up by one point heading into singles play. In singles play, the Tigers won four of the six matches to register the 6-3 win. The men’s team is now 5-1 on the year.
Although they didn’t perform exceptionally well at No. 1 doubles, Peter Salomon and Romar Hernandez pulled out the 8-5 win to put a point on the board for the Tigers. Meridian tied the match at one point apiece with an 8-3 win over Robby Tabanguil and Felix Eligio at No. 3 doubles. Shepherd Newcomb and Gabe Llewellyn’s 8-4 win at No. 2 doubles put the Tigers back on top, 2-1.
Salomon extended the Tiger lead to 3-1 with his 6-0, 6-0 rout at No. 2 singles. Romar Hernandez then came through with an easy 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles to put the Tigers on top 4-1. Gabe Llewellyn clinched the W for the Tigers with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles.
Meridian won the last two matches of the afternoon at No. 5 and No. 6 singles. Robby Tabanguil put up a good fight before falling, 7-5, 7-6 (0), to Meridian’s Mohammed Wahidi at No. 5 singles, and Felix Eligio lost a two-setter to Meridian’s Harrison Ward, 6-1, 6-3.
There is a lull in play before the Tigers return to the courts in Montgomery, AL, to take on Huntingdon College’s JV squad on Thursday, March 21. Play is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.
Tigers Upend Cardinals, 6-3, in Men’s Tennis
Gadsden, AL—The Marion Military Institute Tigers scored decisive victories in the top four singles matches and the top two doubles matches to secure the 6-3 win over the Gadsden State Community College Cardinals at the Gadsden Tennis Complex on Sunday afternoon.
MMI’s No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams tallied identical 6-1, 6-0 wins to lead off the scoring for the afternoon. Gadsden climbed back into the match with a narrow three-set win (6-4, 3-6, 10-4) at No. 3 doubles.
Gadsden then knotted the match at 2-2 with a convincing 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 6 singles before the Tigers pounced on the next four singles points to take home the win. Romar Hernandez put the Tigers in the lead for good with an unblemished 6-0, 6-0 match win at No. 3 singles. That was followed shortly thereafter with wins at No. 2 singles by Peter Salomon (6-0, 6-1), No. 1 singles by Shepherd Newcomb (6-2, 6-0), and No. 4 singles by Gabe Llewellyn (6-2, 6-0).
MMI’s Robby Tabanguil lost the last match of the afternoon, a nail-biter at No. 5 singles, 5-7, 6-3, 8-10.
The Tigers’ next match will be on the road versus Tuskegee University on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Match play will begin at 11:00 a.m.
Min and Salomon Play Magical Tennis, Claim 2012 USTA/ITA Southern JUCO Doubles Crown
Meridian, MS—Pil Ki Min and Peter Salomon performed extraordinary feats of doubles magic at the Northeast Tennis Center in Meridian, Mississippi, during the three-day span of the 2012 USTA/ITA Southern JUCO Regional Tennis Championships. Their doubles magic culminated in Saturday afternoon’s spellbinding and mesmerizing 6-2, 6-2 win over a talented tandem from Mississippi Gulf Coast, Alex Puyol and Sean Robinson.
In play leading up to the finals, Min and Salomon used sleight of hand and flight of feet to make three teams quickly disappear from the draw. The Meridian duo of Kasper and Wade went up in smoke 8-0. Another Mississippi Gulf Coast team—Burdick and Georgian—left but a trace in its 8-1 defeat. And the Hinds pair of Horbik and Gunbin vanished 8-3 in some astonishing wizardry on both ends of the court.
“Min and Salomon are the total doubles package,” Wright said. “They both are extremely quick; have excellent hands and reflexes; have excellent serves and returns; produce exquisite drop shots, volleys, and lobs; can sense the whole court and their opponents; and have an uncanny knack of knowing what the other is going to do. They are doubles wizards on the court.”
The doubles team of Pil Ki Min and Peter Salomon is the first Marion Military Institute men’s doubles team to win a doubles title in the USTA/ITA Southern JUCO Regional Tennis Championships. Congratulations and kudos to both Pil Ki and Pete for their magical play.
By virtue of their Prospero-like play, Min and Salomon will now participate in the 2012 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, which will be held at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama, from October 11-14.
Salomon Falls Short in Classic Final
Meridian, MS—Peter Salomon split 6-3 sets with Holmes Community College’s Darryl Hale, the No. 1-seeded player in the 2012 USTA/ITA Southern JUCO Tennis Championships, on Saturday morning. Players, coaches, and fans alike were left breathless and speechless after the fierce and fiery flurry of serves, volleys, and ground strokes had left the match deadlocked. You would have thought the crowd would have been prepared for what was to happen next. You would have been wrong, for the crowd was about to witness a near miracle in Meridian.
Salomon played ghastly tennis for a ten-minute span in the third-set super tiebreaker, producing error after error after error. The errors mounted faster than our nation’s national debt.
“I didn’t even blink before Pete was down 0-8 in the super tiebreaker,” Wright said. “He singlehandedly gave up eight straight points. I don’t know what he was thinking. He wasn’t getting beat by Hale, but the way he was playing—it was hail and farewell.”
On the brink of total disaster and collapse, Salomon dug his heels in and proceeded to reel off seven straight points. The 16th point of the tiebreak produced gasps from the crowd and all kinds of unrepeatable and untoward noise from Pete and Coach Wright as a Salomon backhand smacked the top of the tape and dribbled to the ground. A double fault on match point ended Pete’s spectacular comeback bid.
With his stunning and hard-hitting play, Peter Salomon received the 2012 USTA/ITA Southern JUCO Regional runner-up plaque, a much-deserved and well-earned honor. Congratulations, Pete, for competing at such a high level of play and for representing Marion Military Institute in such a tremendous manner.
Salomon and Hernandez Battle for Spot in Finals
Meridian, MS—Marion Military Institute’s top two players—Peter Salomon and Romar Hernandez—took to the courts on Friday afternoon to determine who would make it to the finals of the 2012 USTA/ITA Southern JUCO Regional Tennis Championships.
Chuck Wright, Marion Military Institute’s head coach, said, “You can flip a coin when those two play. They are both incredibly talented players. Both have great serves and tremendous ground strokes. The difference between the two is slight.”
The two players battled to a 6-6 first-set draw and settled the match in a tiebreaker. Salomon slipped by Hernandez, 7-4. Hernandez, experiencing lightheadedness, retired after the first set.
Peter Salomon will return to the court on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. to play Holmes Community College’s Darryl Hale in the championship match.
Salomon and Hernandez Semifinalists in 2012 USTA/ITA Regional Tournament
Meridian, MS—A pair of Marion Military Institute tennis players—Peter Salomon and Romar Hernandez—reached semifinal play in the 2012 USTA/ITA Southern JUCO Regionals on Friday at the Northeast Tennis Center in Meridian, Mississippi.
Peter Salomon recorded comfortable wins over Harrison Warren of Meridian Community College (6-0, 6-0) and Ambrose Wilson of Itawamba Community College (6-3, 6-3). Salomon’s quarterfinal match proved interesting as Yevheniy Horbik of Hinds Community College blanked Salomon 0-6 in the first set. Salomon regrouped and refocused to take the second set, 6-1, and the super-tiebreaker third set, 10-5.
Romar Hernandez escaped with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Itawamba’s Kent Gardner before ousting fellow teammate Robby Tabanguil, 6-1, 6-3, in the next round. Like Salomon, Hernandez also played an exciting quarterfinal match, downing Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Alexander Puyol, 6-4, 7-5. Hernandez lost the first three games of the second set before going on a 7-2 run to close out the set and the match.
In other match play, Pil Ki Min dominated two Meridian Community College players—Mohammed Wahaidi (6-1, 6-0) and Cody Gallenbeck (6-2, 6-1)—before being ousted by the tournament’s top-seeded player, Darryl Hale of Holmes Community College, in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-2.
Robby Tabanguil won the first set 6-1 over Meridian’s Kevin Millet before Millet retired from match play due to an injury that occurred in the pre-match warm-up.
Gabe Llewellyn lost in the finals of the Men’s A Singles Consolation Draw. He won three matches before that loss by the scores of 8-1, 8-6, and 9-7.
Hernandez and Llewellyn won in the finals of the Men’s A Doubles Consolation Draw with an impressive 6-0, 6-1 win over Meridian’s Gallenbeck and Wahaidi.