MORAGA, Calif. -- Despite losses in both the doubles final and singles semifinals Tuesday, the Saint Mary's men's tennis team concluded play at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Regional with plenty to be proud of.
Joakim Norstrom and Jesse Kiuru became the first Saint Mary's men's tennis players to reach an ITA Regional final with two wins Monday, and they were back in action on Tuesday morning against California's Ben and Riki McLachlan.
The two teams battled early, but a break of serve midway through the match gave Cal the advantage.
Strong, consistent serving from the Bears kept them on top, and Kiuru and Norstrom's efforts to rally fell just short as the duo from Cal won 8-6.
Tuomas Manner took the court in the afternoon, squaring off with No. 2 seed Ben McLachlan in one singles semifinal. McLachlan won the first set 6-3, but Manner battled back in the second, forcing a tiebreaker.
Manner had chances to break through, but again McLachlan used a powerful serve and consistent groundstrokes to keep the Gael at bay. McLachlan won the tiebreak 7-5 to finish the match 6-3, 7-6. McLachlan will face Santa Clara's John Lamble on Wednesday in the championship.
No matter Tuesday's result, the tournament was a resounding success for Saint Mary's.
Manner became the first men's tennis player in school history to win in the ITA Regional quarterfinals and reach the semis. Saint Mary's sent three players to the round of 16 for the first time, with Kiuru, Manner and Joakim Norstrom all playing well to get that far.