The Jackets made quick work of Grand View University in the quarterfinals, sweeping the Vikings by a perfect 5-0 score. All tennis postseason play ends when the winning team reaches five points. Two of GU's points came courtesy of GVU defaults, leaving three matches that were won by the tandem of Daniel Rosales Lobos / Manuel Lindekeit at the No. 1 doubles spot (8-0), Eugene O'Connell / Esteban Chacon at the No. 2 doubles spot (8-1) and Rosales Lobos at the No. 1 singles spot (6-0, 6-0).
"We were fortunate to have an opening round that allowed us to conserve energy," head coach Monroe Walker said. "That being said, the men who did play did an outstanding job, but our work has just started."
With the win, Graceland advanced to the semifinals where Baker University awaited them. The Jackets handled the Wildcats earlier in the year when GU handed Baker a 6-3 defeat on April 17.
Rosales Lobos and Lindekeit were in usual form, giving Graceland the early lead with a win at the No. 1 doubles spot (8-5). Baker would tie the score quickly, however, as the Wildcats stole the No. 2 doubles spot. The Jackets would then gain the upper hand entering singles play when Felipe Suarez Parra and Matthew Waite won a convincing 8-1 match at the third doubles spot.
Graceland would then solidify the win when Rosales Lobos, Suarez Parra and Waite each won handily in singles play, advancing the Jackets to the conference title match.
"We had a very strong showing today," added Walker. "We had big wins from Matt and Daniel. We worked every point well and closed out matches. I felt this match was a great warm up for tomorrows final."
Graceland will now face Missouri Valley College in the unaffiliated conference tournament championship match tomorrow (April 28) at 9:30 a.m. with a bid to the 2012 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championships on the line.
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