SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's tennis teams each fell 5-4 on Saturday afternoon to visiting Franklin & Marshall College at the SU Tennis Courts.
Women: F&M 5, Salisbury 4
The Salisbury women (1-2) battled to the very end against the Diplomats (1-0), as the Gulls dropped their second-straight match.
In doubles play, Salisbury jumped out to a 2-1 lead with junior Roxanne Alban and sophomore Natalie Savage claiming the first point with an 8-2 win at No. 1. But Franklin & Marshall would quickly draw even when Tara Buchney and Allysan Breece took down juniorSam Babo and sophomore Megan Knapp, 8-4, at No. 3.
After the Diplomats tied the match, with the first singles point of the day, Salisbury grabbed a 4-3 lead on the strength of wins by Savage, at No. 1, and Alban at No. 2. Savage came away with a 6-3, 6-2 win and Alban worked to a 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 win.
Franklin & Marshall would even the match at 4-4, and the day came down to No. 6 singles where Knapp had claimed the opening set against Breece, in a tie-breaker, 7-3. But Breece would come back to take the second set, 6-3.
Knapp grabbed the early break in the third set, but Breece would break back. Knapp held a 4-3 lead in the set before Breece would come back to claim the set and the match.
Men: F&M 5, Salisbury 4
The Salisbury men came from one point down after doubles play to nearly knock off the Diplomats, ranked seventh in the South Atlantic Region, in each team's first match of the year.
Junior Daniel Albers and sophomore Eric Spangler grabbed Salisbury's lone double point, outdueling William MacArthur and Nolan Bacchieri at No. 1 doubles, but the Diplomats (1-0) would claim the other two points in doubles play for a 2-1 edge heading to singles.
Franklin & Marshall pushed its lead to two points, but Albers got the Gulls (0-1) back within a point after claiming his first set at No. 1, against Tommy Weibye, in a tie-breaker, 7-0, and Weibye retired.
The Diplomat lead grew to two again, but Spangler contributed his second point of the day with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 2 to make it 4-3 and Salisbury tied the match with a point from junior Demetri Vrahnos at No. 3, claiming a 6-3, 6-2 win.
The event came down to No. 4 singles where senior Shane Gunther had claimed the first set in a tie-breaker, but Bacchieri would even things up with a 6-3 second-set win, and claim the match for the Diplomats with a 6-1 third set.
Salisbury's men's team will be back in action this Wednesday, March 4, when the Sea Gulls travel to Hampden-Sydney College. The women's next match is scheduled for this Friday, when the Sea Gulls host Goucher College.