Tennis teams kickoff season with Sea Gull Open

SALISBURY, Md. - The Salisbury University tennis teams kicked off the 2014 season with the 17th annual Sea Gull Open, a non-NCAA sanctioned event, which concluded Monday at the Salisbury University Indoor Tennis Center.

The men's singles draw featured 26 players, with an all-Sea Gull final between the previous two Capital Athletic Conference Rookies of the Year, junior Daniel Albers against sophomore Eric Spangler

Albers took the first three games of the first set before Spangler took over, taking the next six games and the first set. Albers won the first five games of the second set before Spangler countered the next two games, before closing out the second set, 6-2. Albers controlled the third set, winning 6-0 to take the men's singles crown.

Albers and Spangler joined forces in the men's doubles draw, taking the title over Head Coach Randy Halfpap and Evan Thomas 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.

Albers and Thomas met previously in the tournament, with a spot in the singles finals on the line. Albers dropped the first set, 7-5, but rallied back. The Denville, N.J., native won the second set 6-4 and the deciding set 6-1 to advance.

Spangler reached the finals without dropping a set, winning his semifinal match against No. 3 seed Jason Dunn 6-1, 6-2. After a first-round bye, the sophomore started his tournament dispatching classmate Shanon Gunther in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0, before defeating top-seeded Michael Fowler 6-4, 6-4.

Shanon Gunther advanced after winning his first round match against freshman Alex Stevenson 6-2, 6-3. Seniors Paul Berryman and Shane Gunther, and sophomore Matthew McGaffney each won their first round matches as well before dropping out in the next round.

The women's team was also represented in the championship match of ladies draw, though sophomore Natalie Savage dropped the finals match 6-2, 6-2 to Nicole Hammond of Centreville, Va. Savage advanced to the finals with a quarterfinal win over freshman Claudia Lohn 6-1, 6-0 and a semifinal victory over Leila Lam 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

Junior Roxann Alban advanced to the semifinal round before dropping out against Hammond 6-2, 6-2. Alban defeated Jessica Babyak ( in the first round and her quarterfinal opponent bowed out of the tournament due to illness.

Lohn won her first round match against Katie Muething 6-3, 6-0. Junior Katie Youlios won her first round match against Jen Iosue 6-7 (7-2), 6-3, 6-3 before dropping her quarterfinal match to Lam.

Savage and Hammond would meet again as part of the women's doubles finals, with Hammond and partner Jillian Poppe, who was the CAC Rookie of the Year in 2010, defeating Alban and Savage 6-2, 6-4.

The women's team opens its regular season Saturday, Feb. 22 at home against Bridgewater College. The men's team will open a week later, March 1, at home against Franklin & Marshall College.   

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