Shannon Buck Wins First Match at NCAA Menís Tennis Championships
College Station, Texas -
Air Force junior Shannon Buck became the first player in school history to win a match at the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Singles Championships with a 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 victory Wednesday over Josh Cohen of the University of Miami. Buck, ranked No. 67 in the country, will face Izak van der Merwe of Old Dominion in the second round at 11 a.m. (CT) on Thursday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas.
Buck took control of the match from the start, breaking Cohen in the second game en route to winning the first seven games of the match. After Cohen broke Buck in the third game of the second set, Buck needed a medical timeout due to heat exhaustion as the temperature hit the mid-90s. Cohen, ranked 42nd in the nation, won five straight games and evened the match at a set apiece. After Buck held serve to go up 1-0 in the third set, the players ended the match with nine consecutive breaks and Buck took the deciding set, 6-4.
"This was as tough a match as Shannon has played all season," said Air Force head coach Rich Gugat. "He won the first seven games then hit the wall because of the heat, but recovered just enough to get the win. He gave a great effort today."
Buck, who has won 18 consecutive matches, improved his overall singles record to 26-2 this season. Van der Merwe, who upset the nation's top-ranked player, Sam Warburg of Stanford in the first round, is 24-11 this season and ranked No. 37 in the nation in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.