Elwood, Puckey go from qualifiers to doubles finals

Sunday, September 27, 2015
by Wes Bloomquist || jbloomquist@uttyler.edu

SAN ANTONIO – UT Tyler’s Ryan Elwood and Jack Puckey battled their way into the tournament through a doubles qualifying match and then went on a ride that took them to the finals on Sunday at the USTA/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southwest Region Championships. Elwood and Puckey reached the finals of the tournament with an 8-6 win over Wilson Lambeth and Cameron Bilsbarrow of Trinity, but fell in the finals (6-1, 6-1) to Adam Krull and Matt Tyer (TU) to see their run at the national tournament end.

"Elwood and Puckey dreamed big and rolled out on court with no fear," UT Tyler head coach Chris Bizot said. "Elwood's huge serves and Puckey's pinpoint returns led them to the finals of one of elite tournaments in the US. Taking on the big boys in Texas tennis and showing each team one at a time that they belonged. We are so proud of the way both of them stayed true and fought for one another and their team." 

Elwood and Puckey won four matches in the tournament after taking an 8-5 win over a team from UMHB in qualifying at the Butch Newman Tennis Center. Krull and Tyer won the tournament and advance to the national tournament after also ending the tournament for UT Tyler’s Arthur Fagundes and Frankie Fischer in the semifinals on Sunday morning. Fagundes and Fischer advanced to the regional tournament’s final day by knocking off their teammates Alex Free and Keaton McCormick late on Saturday night (8-2).

In singles action, Daniel Budd and Fagundes were both eliminated from the tournament in the semifinals on Sunday after they had won three matches to reach the final day. Budd lost 7-5, 6-3 to Krull (TU) in the semifinals and Fagundes would fall to Paxton Deuel (TU) in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 battle. Deuel would go on to win the A Singles title by knocking off Krull for the title.

"Budd and Fagundes lit up scoreboards, message boards, tweets and instagrams all weekend long," Bizot said. "These two showed D3 nation that the Pats are here to stay in 2015-16 season. Daniel Budd showed the maturity that all coaches wish for out of their seniors and his play matched his mental stability. While Fagundes played free with unreal focus point after point. This Southwest ITA highlighted four of the top 20 men in the US and Budd and Fagundes proved their keep with lightning groundstrokes, incredible defensive displays, and incomparable leadership on and off the court."

The “A” Singles and Doubles winners from this weekend’s tournament advanced to the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships October 15-18 at Sumter, South Carolina.