GAMBIER, Ohio - The history-making run came to an end Saturday for the Franciscan University of Steubenville men's tennis team.
The Barons lost to second-ranked Kenyon College, 5-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
"As a coach I'm just as excited as when we came into this tournament," head coach Jeremy Ellis said. "It's a great moment here for these guys."
Despite being swept, FUS put up a fight against the Lords. No. 1 doubles team of juniors Paul Jarzynka and Brian Robau pushed Kenyon to advantage points in almost every game of a 8-4 loss that was closer than the score suggested.
"Watching them play. Watching them stand toe-to-toe with the No. 2 nationally ranked team, that's huge," Ellis said. "The first two years of them playing together, they struggled. But we knew they had this in them."
Freshman Zach Quiza also held his own in No. 4 singles. The AMCC Newcomer of the Year was on the verge of taking control in the second set when Kenyon ended the match with wins in No. 1 and No. 2 singles.
"Actually being in the NCAA Tournament and seeing what it looks like, it shows that they're right there," Ellis said of players. "Next year has the potential to be a year where we get past the second round."
The day was particularly special for the team's lone senior, John Shultis who choose to miss Franciscan's graduation ceremony in order to be with his team. To help makeup for his sacrifice and thank him for his time in the program, Ellis and the rest of the team did a little something special during their pre-game meal.
"I was sitting down when it struck noon and coach told me to stand up. I didn't really know why," Shultis said. "So I went outside the Subway and when I came back in they gave me a standing ovation and gave me my diploma - a Subway napkin."