SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's tennis team dropped its match against No. 16 University of Mary Washington 6-3, Saturday afternoon at the SU Outdoor Courts.
The Sea Gulls held a 2-1 lead after doubles play but Mary Washington (17-4, 5-0 CAC) would take five of the six singles matches to win the contest.
Salisbury (9-4, 3-2 CAC) would claim the first point of the match with an 8-4 win by senior Shane Gunther and sophomore Shanon Gunther in the No. 3 doubles position. The Gunthers would take the first three games, trade games back-and-forth to keep a 7-4 lead and then took the next game to win the match.
After Mary Washington claimed the No. 2 doubles match, 8-1, to even the score, the Sea Gulls' No. 1 team of junior Daniel Albers and sophomore Eric Spangler would give Salisbury the lead after doubles play. Albers and Spangler would stay unbeaten on the season with an 8-4 win over the top-ranked doubles team in the Atlantic South region, Tyler Carey and Evan Charles.
Albers and Spangler, the eighth ranked team in the region, lost the first game before taking the next two for an early lead. The two teams would split the next four games to hold a 4-3 advantage. Albers and Spangler held serve to take a 5-3 lead and then broke serve for a 6-3 advantage. The two teams split the next two games before the Salisbury duo took the next game to secure the lead for Salisbury after doubles play.
When the match turned to singles play, the Eagles would pull away for the victory.
Andrew Curtis defeated sophomore Matthew McGaffney in the No. 5 singles contest, 6-3, 6-2, to even the match at 2-2.
Salisbury would pick up its final point after the next match to finish, the No. 2 singles matchup. Spangler picked up his second point of the dual match with a three-set win, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2. After dropping the first set, Spangler took the first three games of the second set before splitting the next two games for a 4-1 advantage. The Clinton, Md., native would take the next two games to force a third set.
In the third set, Spangler took the first five games before dropping the next two. He would break Alexander Blakhin's serve to take the match and give Salisbury a 3-2 lead.
Following wins in the No. 3 and No. 4 matchups, the Eagles would take its first lead of the match, 4-3. The final singles contests would go down to the wire to determine if the Sea Gulls could pull out a win against Mary Washington for the first time since March 29, 2008.
Albers looked to pull the Sea Gulls back into a tie but Carey would clinch the match 2-6, 6-0, 6-3. In the first set, Albers would pull out to a 4-1 lead and take the first set. After being kept off the board in the second set, Albers would battle in the deciding set.
Albers would drop the first game but rallied to take the next two for the third-set lead. The next two games would be split before Carey broke and then held serve to take a 4-3 lead. Carey would break serve again and then would serve out the match.
While that contest was going on, Shanon Gunther battled to send his match in the No. 6 position to a third set.
After dropping the first set 6-1 and going down 5-2 in the second, Gunther would rip off five-straight game wins to force a third set. The Centreville, Md., native would take a 3-1 lead in the third set before dropping the next three games. Scott Buie would hold serve to take a 5-4 lead and break serve to round out singles play.
The Sea Gulls will be back in action tomorrow, hosting St. Mary's College of Maryland. That contest is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.