Penn State’s championship hopes were laid to rest on the first day of Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Surprise, Arizona, but the Nittany Lions made the most of their time in the consolation bracket.
The history-making doubles team of Constant De La Bassetiere and Gabriel Nemeth, who were the first Penn State pair to win the ITA Atlantic Regionals, were unable to make it past the first round of the main tournament on Wednesday.
They faced off against one of the top doubles teams in the tournament, Mississippi State’s Giovanni Oradini and Niclas Braun. The two players were ranked as the fifth-best doubles team competing in Surprise.
The Nittany Lions didn’t go down without a fight, but they were not able to secure the win needed to advance to the round of 16, losing 6-3 4-6 1-0(6).
Their time in Arizona was not done after the match, as De La Bassetiere and Nemeth stuck around to play in the consolation bracket.
On Thursday, Penn State played against Kawika Lam and Enzo Sommer of Washington in the opening round of consolation matches. The duo had a successful outing, winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.
The win extended the Nittany Lions’ stay at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships to Friday, where they were matched up with Ohio State’s Martin Joyce and Hunter Tubert in the quarterfinals.
De La Bassetiere and Nemeth pulled off the upset of the fourth-ranked consolation duo, winning 6-4, 6-2. The win put Penn State in the semifinals. Jack Mingjie Lin and Will Matheson of Columbia, the top-seeded doubles team in the tournament, stood in front of the Nittany Lions.
In an extremely tight match, De La Bassetiere and Nemeth pulled out the win. They dropped the first set to the duo from Columbia, but managed to bounce back and win 4-6, 6-4, 1-0(6).
Just like that, Penn State found itself in the consolation bracket finals. On Sunday, the Nittany Lions went head to head with South Alabama’s Loic Cloes and Clement Marzol. It was another closely contested match, but Penn State once again came away victorious, winning the consolation bracket championship 6-3, 6-7(5), 10-7.
The win capped off a very successful fall season for De La Bassetiere and Nemeth. The duo lost just one match over the course of the year. The Oracle ITA National Fall Championship Consolation title is the second piece of hardware they earned this fall.
The Nittany Lions will have plenty of time off before they return to action on Jan. 19 for the Virginia Tech Invitational to open the spring season.