ROME, Ga. — The nationally-ranked doubles duo of Kukutla Motlojoa and Daniel Blonquist won both of their consolation matches on Friday afternoon after dropping their opening match in the main draw of the tournament on Thursday evening.
In their first-round match, the Knight duo wasn't able to shake off their nerves and find their groove and fell to the top team from Cal Tech 6-3, 6-0.
In the consolation bracket, Motlojoa and Blonquist found themselves paired up against the top team from Luther College. The pairing from Luther included Junior Cole Schneider and Sophomore Nyathi Motlojoa, the younger brother of Kukutla.
In an exciting inner-family duel, the two brothers and their partners battled it out in a tight-knit match. Pulling through when it counted most, Kukutla and Daniel were able to come out on top, downing the Norse 6-4, 6-4.
"A sibling rivalry couldn't get any better. It was a wonderful opportunity not only see my brother but play him," said Motlojoa on getting to play against Nyathi.
In the last match of the day, Motlojoa and Blonquist faced Johns Hopkins, who they were supposed to play in the ITA regional semifinal. The duo was then forced to retire due to Sunday play. In an exciting matchup to see if the Knights would've made the ITA regional final, they came out on fire, taking the first set 6-3.
In the second, Hopkins jumped out to an early lead and kept it until they were up 5-3. Saving three set points in that game, Motlojoa and Blonquist battled back winning four straight games and the second set 7-5.
"It's great to be playing with the best teams in the country," said Head Coach Tom Snelson "To have them go 2-1 shows that they belong. It's a great learning experience for them and the rest of the team. It will help motivate everyone to continue to work hard so we can come back again."
The ITA cup concludes fall action for the Knights. They will continue with their spring season on the 18th of January as they will face-off against D-I opponent James Madison University.