By Josh Neuhart
Grace College Sports Information
MOBILE, Ala. – Grace’s men’s tennis team cemented its place in history on Friday by winning the 2021 NCCAA national championship.
The Lancers swept Judson 4-0 in the title game, completing an undefeated 4-0 week through the national tournament.
Grace, coached by Andy Lewis, claimed its first national championship in team history and the fifth all-time at Grace (1992 – NAIA men’s basketball, 1995 – NCCAA volleyball, 2019 – women’s golf, 2020 – men’s soccer).
“I told the boys that this is the best I’ve seen them play all year. Judson was fired up today, but our team was not going to be denied,” Lewis said. “Max [Rozas] and Fabricio [Galvan] taking the first two singles’ points was huge for us. Then we just had to wait for Ramiro to win that last point to clinch the victory.”
Ramiro Candia clinched the championship point with his winning volley at No. 5 singles, securing the straight sets win 6-3, 6-4.
Max Rozas (7-6, 6-1) at No. 1 singles, and Fabricio Galvan (7-6, 6-4) at No. 4 singles won quickly to put Grace in prime position.
The Lancers won the initial doubles’ point, something they had lost to Judson during pool play just three days ago. The victory was Grace’s third of the season against Judson, including a 4-0 win on Sept. 18 and a 4-3 win during NCCAA pool play on Tuesday.
“I’m so excited for the guys, they have worked so hard to get to this point so it’s great to see them bring home the fifth national championship for Grace,” Lewis said. “The guys are so proud to wear that Grace name on their shirts. God shined on us today, and we are so thankful.”
The Lancers’ season is not done, however. Grace will remain in Mobile, Ala., for next week’s NAIA National Championships. Grace is making its first appearance as a full team at NAIAs since 1988. The Lancers will play No. 17 Southeastern on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in the opening round.