After being down 4-1 through doubles action and the first two rounds of singles play, the Defiance men's tennis team stormed back to take the final four singles matches and steal away a big road win over the Indiana University East Red Wolves on Monday, March 31.
To start off the contest, both the first and second doubles contests were heated battles. Mike Ross (Bryan, Ohio / Bryan) and Ryan Nelson (Oregon, Ohio / Clay) kept play close in first pairs, but were defeated 8-6. Then in second doubles, Cord Speelman (Bryan, Ohio / Bryan) and Justin Walker (Wilson, N.C. / Hunt) took the fight into extra frames, but were bested 9-7.
The Purple and Gold finally got on the board, when freshman duo James Demeo (Oregon, Ohio / Clay) and Tory Savage (Bryan, Ohio / Bryan) dominated third singles play with an 8-0 shutout. It was the pair's eighth win in the 2013-14 campaign.
However, IUE extended its lead in the competition after the first two rounds of singles. Both Yellow Jackets took their matches into three sets, but came up short as Ross fell in first singles 2-6, 6-4, 4-6 and Speelman dropped second singles 6-0, 4-6, 4-6.
Then with their backs against the wall being down 4-1, the last four singles players for Defiance stepped up to the challenge and pulled off the incredible comeback.
Nelson got things started by edging out a third singles victory 6-3, 7-5. Then the last three Jackets of Demeo, Walker and Savage ruled the Red Wolves the rest of the way out.
Demeo came up with his team-high tenth individual win of the season by a score of 6-1, 6-2. Walker and Savage then blanked their opponents 6-0, 6-0 to complete the hard-earned road victory.
The Purple and Gold (6-6) ended a four-game slide with the triumph over the NAIA opponent. IUE (5-6) had a two-match win streak snapped and falls under .500.
DC will return home for its third Heartland Conference contest of the season, when it battles the Spartans of Manchester on Wednesday, April 2. The match is set to start at 4 p.m. in the George M. Smart Athletic Center.