MORAGA, Calif. -- On a day that looked lost due to rain, Joakim Norstrom and Jesse Kiuru managed to provide more than a little sunlight for a suddenly burgeoning Saint Mary's men's tennis program.
The Gaels have spent most of their time at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Regional re-writing the team record books. On Monday, Norstrom and Kiuru continued that trend by winning two matches to advance to Tuesday's doubles final.
The day started under darkened skies, with play cancelled in the morning due to overnight rain in the Bay Area.
Eventually though, the clouds parted and doubles action was able to take center stage in the afternoon. Kiuru and Norstrom began in the quarterfinals against the No. 1 seeds in the tournament, Oregon's Jeff Mullen and Robin Cambier.
An 8-3 win for the Gaels' tandem sent them to the semifinals, setting Kiuru and Norstrom up for a showdown with California's Campbell Johnson and Mads Engstad.
A tough match ensued, but the pair from Saint Mary's prevailed with an 8-6 victory, making Kiuru and Norstrom the first men's tennis players in Saint Mary's history to reach the final of an ITA Regional event.
Play resumes Tuesday with Norstrom and Kiuru in the doubles final at 10 a.m. The winner will secure an automatic bid to the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in early November.
The singles semifinals follow at 12:30, with Saint Mary's Tuomas Manner taking on Cal's Ben McLachlan for a chance to advance to the finals, which are scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.