By RICK PETERSON
For the first time in program history, Washburn University men's tennis has a national champion, with Tim Hammes and Santiago Rendon completing a dominant tournament performance run to win the ITA Cup men's doubles dhampionship Saturday night in Mount Berry, Ga.
Hammes and Rendon didn't drop a set through the last two rounds on their way to the first national championship of any kind for Washburn athletics since former Washburn Rural star Madeline Hill Madeline Hill won the ITA Cup women's singles championship for the Ichabods in 2016.
Hammes and Rendon started the day with a 6-4 win in the first set of their semifinal match against Phil Exner and Alex Blanchar of Ouachita Baptist.
The Ichabods finished off the match in the same fashion with another 6-4 win to advnce into the national championship match.
Rendon and Hammes, who finished the 2022-23 season ranked No. 17 nationally in doubles, kept rolling in the championship match with a swift 6-2 first set win over Cas de Ruiter and Toedor Zlatar from Harding University and finished off the match with a 6-2 second-set victory.
Hammes and Rendon entered the ITA Cup with an at-large bid after finishing in the quarterfinals of the ITA Regionals.
Earlier in the day on the women's singles side Maja Jung's championship bid came to an end with a two-set loss to Salma Djoubri of Lynn University in the semifinals.
Rendon, Santiago/Hammes, Tim (WU) def. Exner, Phil/Blanchar, Alex (OBU) 6-4, 6-4
Rendon, Santiago/Hammes, Tim (WU) def. de Ruiter, Cas/Zlatar, Teodor (HU) 6-2, 6-2
Djoubri, Salma (LU) def. Jung, Maja (WU) 6-0, 6-0
Pjontek, Sebastian (WU) def. Kulish, Maksym (UNK) 3-6, 6-2,