Salisbury tennis teams sweep St. Mary's, 8-1, to close CAC regular season

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's tennis teams closed out their Capital Athletic Conference regular-season slate with 8-1 wins over St. Mary's College of Maryland on a gorgeous Sunday at the SU Outdoor Courts.

Both teams celebrated their seniors before the match and snapped a two-match losing streak with today's result.

Men: Salisbury 8, St. Mary's 1

Salisbury (10-4, 4-2 CAC) swept doubles play but it wasn't without having to work hard in the No. 2 and No. 3 matchups.

The Sea Gulls' top team, junior Daniel Albers and sophomore Eric Spangler, continued their dominant play this season, winning 8-3. After holding a one-game advantage through the first five games, Salisbury's top duo took control of the match from there.

Albers and Spangler would take the next two games to give themselves some breathing room, taking a 5-2 lead. St. Mary's (4-7, 2-2 CAC) top team, Andrew Gear and Mark Hardesty, would split the next two games against SU's No. 1's to push the match to 6-3.

Salisbury's top team would hold serve to take a 7-3 and took the match by breaking serve to remain perfect on the season, winning all 13 matches together.

The other doubles matches went the way of the Sea Gulls but that result was uncertain halfway through.

Senior Shane Gunther and sophomore Shanon Gunther went down 7-4 in the No. 2 matchup and their opponents were serving for the match. The brothers would break serve to pull within 7-5 and would take the next four games to take the match 9-7.

Junior Demetri Vrahnos and sophomore Matthew McGaffney rounded out doubles play, also needing a comeback to claim the match. The match was on serve through seven games, with the Salisbury duo down 4-3, but St. Mary's Robert Bishop and Wyatt Paulishak broke then held serve to take a 6-3 lead. Vrahnos and McGaffney held serve, which started a five-game run to win 8-6.

Shanon Gunther would pull the Sea Gulls within a point of claiming the match with a 6-2, 6-1 win from the No. 5 spot in the lineup.

Vrahnos would give Salisbury the match with a 6-2, 6-4 win from the No. 3 position. The Plainsboro, N.J., native found himself down 4-3 in the second set, but broke serve to tie it up before winning out to take the set and match.

Spangler would take his match in the No. 2 slot, 6-3, 6-3. In the second set, the Clinton, Md., native jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead before Hardest would take his first game of the set. Spangler would bounce back, with each player holding serve to finish the match.

Shane Gunther won in his match, 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 in the No. 4 position. Senior Paul Berryman was also victorious on Senior Day, taking the No. 6 match 6-4, 6-3.

St. Mary's picked up its lone point in the final match when Andrew Gear took the No. 1 match over Albers. Albers would take the first set 6-2 before dropping the second set 7-6 (7-5). The third-set super tiebreaker was back-and-forth. Down 9-7, Albers held serve to pull within 9-8 before Gear picked up the final point to finish the match, 10-8.

Women: Salisbury 8, St. Mary's 1

The top doubles matchup was back-and-forth, with Salisbury's (9-7, 4-2 CAC) top team, sophomore Natalie Savage and junior Roxanne Alban taking control down the stretch. Savage and Alban were up 3-2 before taking the next two games to swing momentum in their favor.

St. Mary's (5-8, 2-3 CAC) top team, Shannon Ramsey and Emily Stumpfig, would force a split of the next two games to make the score 6-3. Savage and Alban would hold serve to increase their lead to 7-3 and would break serve for the win.

Freshman Claudia Lohn and junior Sam Babo jumped out to a 4-1 lead before splitting the next four games. The No. 3 doubles team for Salisbury broke serve to go up 7-3 and finished out the match on serve.

Juniors Katie Youlios and Allison Lutz took the No. 2 doubles matchup to finish up doubles play. With the score tied 2-2, the Salisbury duo broke serve to take a 3-2 lead and didn't lose a game the rest of the way.

Lohn would grab the first singles point from the No. 5 spot with a 6-0, 6-1 win. The Madison, Conn., native took the first two games of the second set before she dropped the first game of the match. Lohn would respond to take the next four games and the match.

Alban would claim the match for the Sea Gulls from the No. 2 position, winning 6-1, 6-1.

Youlios grabbed her second point of the match from the No. 3 spot, winning 6-2, 6-2.

Savage improved her personal winning streak to six-straight matches with a 6-1, 6-1 win from the No. 1 spot in the lineup. The Port Murray, N.J., native took the first five games of the first set before Shannon Ramsey won a game before Savage served out to take the set. Ramsey took the first game of the second set before Savage won out.

Lutz took her match from the No. 4 spot, 6-1, 6-1 for the final Sea Gull point.

St. Mary's picked up its lone point from the No. 6 matchup. Kayla Baier defeated senior Charlotte Urian, 4-6, 7-5, 10-2. Urian would rally from down 4-3 to take a 5-4 lead in the second set before dropping the final three games of the second set.

On Wednesday, both teams will stay on the Eastern Shore, traveling to Chestertown, Md., to take on Washington College. Those matches are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

With the victories, Salisbury's men's and women's teams seal up the No. 3 seeds in both CAC tournaments. The Sea Gull teams will receive a first-round bye in the tournament before traveling to the second-seeded team for semifinal matches on Wednesday, April 23.

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