Fagundes, Fischer to compete at NCAA DIII Championships

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – UT Tyler freshman Arthur Fagundes and senior Frankie Fischer will compete at the NCAA Division III Tennis Individual Championships starting on Thursday at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Fagundes is the first UT Tyler freshman to compete in doubles and singles at the national tournament, while Fischer is making his second straight trip to the tournament.

Fagundes will play Ben Rosen (Bates) at 9 a.m. on Thursday with the winner to advance to the round of 16 and play at 1 p.m. on the singles side, while Fagundes and Fischer open doubles action against Case Western Reserve’s Christopher Krimbill and Louis Stuerke at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

“They have played really well and come together as a team,” UT Tyler coach Chris Bizot said. “I think having Frankie with experience at nationals last year in doubles is really valuable. Hopefully he can give Arthur some insights and tips on what to expect. We are excited. It’s an honor to be able to compete at nationals, but we are looking to go there and do some damage.”

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Fagundes was named the ITA West Region Rookie of the Year, while Daniel Budd was named the ITA West Region Most Improved Player. Budd finished his senior season at the regional tournament and completed his career with a 51-29 singles record and at 58-21 in doubles. Fagundes, who earned American Southwest Conference Championship MVP honors, was selected to play in singles at the national tournament along with doubles with Fischer.

Fagundes and Fischer are 14-5 as doubles partners this season and enters this week’s championships having won seven straight matches. The team earned an 8-6 win over Skyler Butts and Daniel Morkovine of No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the third round of the NCAA tournament in first doubles after taking a 9-8 (6-0) victory over Robert Carter and Jake Hoeger of Whitman in the second round. Fagundes and Fischer secured an 8-1 win in the American Southwest Conference Championship finals. Fischer, who also competed at the national tournament last season, is 41-9 in his two seasons at UT Tyler in doubles action. He has amassed an 18-6 doubles record as a senior after also going 3-1 with Jose McIntyre and 1-0 with Keaton McCormick. Fagundes was 1-1 with Daniel Budd before the two reunited as doubles partners.

“Last year we were really excited to be there but got a little overwhelmed so there wasn’t any adrenaline there to kick in and get us through that first match,” Fischer said. “We have progressed a lot. At the beginning of the year we didn’t do too hot, and then we broke up and got back together and switched sides. Now we are just winning uncontrollably. I fell really confident in our partnership right now. We are very different players. He’s back there grinding it out hitting it as hard as he can and I’m at the net being aggressive. I think our games compliment each other well.”

Fagundes comes into the NCAA DIII Tennis Championships with a 16-6 singles record with a 14-4 second singles mark. A freshman from Brazil, is 7-1 in his last 10 matches with two going unfinished with the Patriots claiming wins at the conference tournament. He is coming off a loss to Glenn Hull in the third round of the regional tournament against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps after taking a 6-4, 6-2 second singles victory over Whitman’s Phillip Locklear in the second round of the national tournament.

“It’s exciting to make nationals as a freshman,” Fagundes said. “Our goal is to win. We have been working hard all season and are hoping to play our best tennis when we get there. The expectations are high and we are working hard for that.”

He was up 6-1, 5-1 in the ASC finals before the Patriots claimed the title. Fagundes started his freshman season with six straight wins and is 15-6 in doubles play this season.

“He has been very consistent,” Bizot said. “I really think it’s all about him going out there and playing his game. We were hoping to be there as a team and came razor close to doing that, but now it’s more about him and Frank and putting them in a position to be successful. As a freshman it is really hard to make nationals. It is going to be a lot about managing the day.”

The individual championships consist of 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams.  The selection of teams and individuals for the championships is based on win-lost record, strength of schedule, and eligibility and availability of student-athletes.