FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Salisbury University men's tennis team dropped two narrow decisions on the second day of its 2013 season. The Sea Gulls fell in their Capital Athletic Conference opener to No. 21 the University of Mary Washington, 6-3, and lost in a neutral-site affair, 5-4, to Bridgewater (Va.) College on Sunday.
In the first match of the day, Mary Washington (4-3, 1-0 CAC) swept the doubles matches, though Salisbury kept things close in the No. 2 and 3 slots. Senior Adam Goldberger and junior Demetri Vrahnos, at No. 2, played to an 8-5 loss while the duo of freshmen Shane Gunther and Aaron Heffley fell 8-4 at No. 3.
Facing the 3-0 deficit heading to the singles matches, the Gulls needed five wins to pick up the early-season win, and Salisbury nearly pulled off the run. Salisbury got wins from Vrahnos at No. 3 (6-3, 6-4), Goldberger at No. 4 (6-2, 6-3) and Heffley at No. 6 (6-4, 6-2). Senior Daniel Albers took Evan Charles, the No. 15 player in the Atlantic South Region, to three sets before falling, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2). At No. 5, Gunther gave Ryan Byrd all he could handle, but fell, 6-3, 7-5.
In Salisbury's second match of the day, the Gulls found themselves in a 2-1 hole through the doubles matches, with two doubles matches needing a tiebreaker to decide the winner. Goldberger and Vrahnos claimed the No. 2 match, 9-8 (4) while Albers and freshman Eric Spangler fell in the No. 1 doubles match, 9-8 (1).
Salisbury (1-2, 0-1 CAC) got singles wins from Spangler at No. 2 (7-5, 6-0), Vrahnos at No. 3 (7-3, 7-6 (2)) and Gunther at No. 5 (6-0, 6-1). The Sea Gulls' three singles losses could not have been much closer. Albers picked up eight games in the No. 1 match, falling 7-5, 6-3 and Goldberger's No. 4 match was even closer, as he fell 7-5, 6-4. Heffley was defeated at No. 6, but not before forcing three sets, falling 6-4, 5-7, 6-0.
The Sea Gulls will be back in action next Sunday, March 3, taking on Methodist University in Virginia Beach, Va. That match is slated to begin at 12 p.m.