Claremont, Calif. - N.C. Wesleyan senior Sebastian Sikh earned All-American honors for the second time in his career on Thursday afternoon, downing Noah Farrell of Middlebury College in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Men's Singles Championships. Sikh is one of just three Bishop players in history to ever make the 32-man field, joining Wesleyan greats Robert Kjellberg and Artsiom Prostak among the program's elite.
A native of Eskilstuna, Sweden, Sikh's faired better in his second run at the singles title after falling in the opening round last spring. He and Farrell, who anchored the #2 seed for the National Champion Panthers, went the distance in the Round of 32 in a three-set thriller. Sikh won the opening set by a 6-4 tally, but Farrell battled back to take the second set by the same score. In the third and deciding set, Sikh broke Farrell's serve midway through to pull away for the 6-3 victory. With the win, Sikh secured All-American honors for the second time in his career, having previously earned AA recognition as a freshman when he and Kjellberg made a National Championship appearance in the 2015 doubles tourney.
Sikh then moved into to the Round of 16 to face the #1 player from National Runner-Up Bowdoin, Grant Urkin. Urkin cruised to a 6-1 win in the opening set and broke Sikh early in the second, eventually holding on for the 6-4 win. The loss ended Sikh's stellar collegiate career, leaving him with 74 singles victories and 84 doubles wins to his credit. Both totals rank second all-time in program history.
Additionally, the three-time NCWC Male Athlete of the Year wraps up his Battling Bishop tenure with back-to-back USA South Player of the Year accolades. He led his Bishops to their 10th straight conference title and NCAA berth this season, helping NCWC advance to the Sweet 16 in team play before falling to top-ranked Emory University.
The 2018 NCAA Division III Championships kicked off on May 24th at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, California with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps serving as host. To access links and additional tourney info, including the complete bracket, please visit http://cmsathletics.org/sports/18tennis/individual_info.