Men's tennis sweeps Juniata, Stevenson to close first weekend of season

Men's tennis sweeps Juniata, Stevenson to close first weekend of season

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's tennis team earned a pair of victories on Sunday afternoon at the SU Tennis Courts, closing out its opening weekend of the season with three wins. On Sunday, Salisbury topped Juniata College, 8-1, before rolling to a 9-0 win against Stevenson University.

Salisbury 8, Juniata 1

The Sea Gulls picked two points in doubles play against the Eagles (1-1), despite all three Salisbury teams dropping their opening game.

The No. 3 pair of sophomore Andrew Rainger and freshman Garrett Malave battled in a tight match throughout, with quick service games, but it was a break of Juniata's Dan Ansel's serve that allowed the Salisbury pair to take a 7-4 lead. The Eagles (1-1) broke Malave's serve, but the freshman was able to put away a smash to break serve and claim the 8-5 win.

Juniata drew even at 1-1, collecting a win at No. 2 doubles, 8-4, against Salisbury senior Grant Hudson and freshman Patrick MacLean.

It was the match at the top spot in doubles play that came down a tie-breaker and a 9-8 Salisbury victory. Freshmen Ian Siew and Colt Williamson found themselves in a 3-0 hole against Juniata's Dean Polisena and Roy Liberman before rallying. Siew and Williamson broke Polisena's service game for their first break of the match, getting back to 4-3 down, and took the lead after Williamson held serve and the Sea Gulls broke again, taking out Liberman's serve for the 5-4 lead.

The match headed to a tie-breaker where Polisena and Liberman took the early lead, going ahead 4-1. But the Sea Gull pair tied the breaker at 5-5 and got an unforced error and a double fault to close out the win.

In singles play, Salisbury was able to sweep, taking five of the six matches in straight sets. The first two doubles points came quickly from MacLean at No. 4 with a 6-1, 6-3 win and Rainger's 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 6 had the Gulls within a point of securing the victory.

Williamson closed out the match, with a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 1 and Salisbury picked up the final three points to secure the 8-1 win. Hudson battled back in his opening set at No. 3 to collect a 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 victory, while Malave was good for a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 5 and Siew closed the match out after splitting his first two sets and claiming the victory at No. 2 by a score of 6-1, 5-7, 10-6.

Salisbury 9, Stevenson 0

The Sea Gulls (3-0) close out the day with a 9-0 win against the Mustangs (0-4) earning three points in doubles while surrendering just five total games to Stevenson.

Senior Bobby Leverich and freshman Ray McDermott collected an 8-0 win at No. 2 doubles to open the match and were followed by James Kwedi and Ethan Brown at No. 3, earning an 8-2 win.

The doubles points were closed out by an 8-3 win at No. 1 by freshmen Franklin Tiafoe and William Niessner.

Niessner got the fourth point for Salisbury quickly in singles, winning 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3 and the next three Sea Gull points came in succession just a few minutes apart with Tiafoe winning 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2, Leverich winning 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 and McDermott winning 6-2, 6-0 at No. 5.

Malave outlasted Bryan Gieselman for the point at No. 1 singles, winning 6-3, 7-5 and Kwedi closed things out with a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 6.

The Sea Gulls will return to the courts on Friday, February 24 when they host Catholic University of America.

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