"We were tight early in the first set, but once Mikk and Rafa found their rhythm they were able to use their experience to take control."
Pictured from left:
Head Coach Simon Earnshaw, Rafael Array, Mikk Irdoja, Alida Muller-Wehlau, Barbora Krtickova and Assistant Coach David Secker.


Pirates Tennis Capture “Super Bowl” Titles


The Pirates Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams are at it again. Both teams recently won the International Tennis Association (ITA) “Super Bowl” of Small College Tennis doubles title in weekend action at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama.

First came seniors Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja knocking off the Auburn-Montgomery duo of Bruno Savi and Claudio Andrade, 6-3, 7-5, to become the first Armstrong men's tennis players to earn a "Super Bowl" title.

The Lady Pirates followed up later with senior Alida Muller-Wehlau and freshman Barbora Krtickova clinching a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Yi Ching Chen and Josefine Strom of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

The wins give the teams of Array and Irdoja and Muller-Wehlau and Krtickova a wild card entry into the United State Tennis Association/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The event is one of the most prestigious indoor tennis tournaments in the country. Both teams will be the only non-Division I players in the doubles fields. Muller-Wehlau and Krtickova become just the second Armstrong pair to capture the "Super Bowl" women's doubles title, joining Steffanie Loew and Tanja Hoetting who won in 1992.

Speaking of the men’s win, Pirates Head Coach Simon Earnshaw said, "We were tight early in the first set, but once Mikk and Rafa found their rhythm they were able to use their experience to take control."

The Muller-Wehlau and Krtickova victory also played out slowly at first.

“We were a little sluggish early on, the Embry-Riddle team being by far the sharper team," Earnshaw said. “But after saving several break points at 3-4 - the girls really started to get on top of the ball and take it to the other team. At that point we were able to grab the momentum and maintain it all the way through to the end of the match."

Competition in the United State Tennis Association/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center runs November 4-7.