SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's tennis team went down to the wire against No. 37 Christopher Newport University on Thursday afternoon at the SU Tennis Courts, getting a come-from-behind win by freshman Sean Ngo for the final point of a 5-4 win.
The win gives the Sea Gulls the No. 2 seed in next week's Capital Athletic Conference tournament, allowing Salisbury to host a CAC semifinal match on Tuesday.
After Salisbury took two of the three doubles matches, the Captains (12-10, 5-2 CAC) kept the match close, tying things at 2-2, and then again at 4-4, but it came down to Ngo against Arttu Fiva at the No. 5 singles spot. Fiva took the first set, 6-1, but Ngo would come back to grab the second, 6-4. The Salisbury freshman was poised throughout the third set, jumping ahead 3-0 and leading 4-1 before Fiva held serve to make it 4-2.
Ngo, serving to get within a game of the match, held in impressive fashion ripping a pair of aces in the game, and followed after the changeover by breaking Fiva's serve, as the match ended on a double fault.
The win is the eighth in a row for Ngo, who is now 13-4 in singles play.
The other two singles points for the Sea Gulls (16-4, 6-1 CAC) came at the top two spots were junior Eric Spangler and senior Daniel Albers gave Salisbury a two-point lead after the Captains tied things at 2-2.
Spangler picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at No.2, while Albers battled for a 6-3, 6-3 victory at No. 1. Spangler matches Ngo, as the two have each won eight-straight matches.
Salisbury suffered three singles defeats with senior Demetri Vrahnos and junior Shanon Gunther each winning seven games in losses at No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively. Vrahnos fell 6-3, 6-4 while Gunther went down, 6-4, 6-3. Senior Adam Goldberger dropped a 6-0, 6-3 decision at No. 6.
Salisbury established the 2-1 lead after doubles play with wins at No. 1 and No. 3. Ngo and Gunther were on serve through much of their No. 3 match, but picked up a late break to pull out the 9-7 victory, the final doubles contest on court.
Albers and Spangler, the sixth-ranked doubles pair in the South Atlantic Region, saw a late break of Albers' serve to force a tie-breaker, but the Sea Gull pair rolled in the breaker, for a 9-8 (7-1) win. Goldberger and Vrahnos battled at No. 2 doubles, but fell, 8-4.
The teams will square off in the CAC semifinal round on Tuesday, April 21, as the Captains are the No. 3 seed in the field, with each team receiving a first-round bye. The start time of the match is to be announced.