SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's tennis team begins play in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament on Tuesday afternoon, as the third-seeded team in the field, traveling to the second-seeded Christopher Newport University. The semifinal match will begin at 3:30 p.m.
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How we got here
Salisbury finished in third in the CAC standings following a 5-2 record in league play in 2017, picking up a first round bye. Salisbury enters play on Tuesday having won six of its previous seven matches, including all five of the team's CAC wins. Freshman Ian Siew and sophomore Andrew Rainger each went 4-2 in CAC singles play during the 2017 season.
How they got here
The Captains went 6-1 in CAC play this season, only losing to the top-seeded University of Mary Washington. In their six league victories, CNU did not drop a single match, only needing three sets in singles in two of their 36 wins.
Scouting the Captains
Christopher Newport enters the match as the No. 35-ranked team in the nation, and having won three of its past four matches. The Captains enter with one of the top players in the Atlantic South Region in David Reed. The junior is currently ranked eighth in the region in singles, having posted an 8-9 record this year at the top of the lineup, with nearly half of his matches against nationally-ranked opponents, where he's gone 3-2. In doubles, Reed and partner Justin Cerny are ranked No. 2 in the region, with a 10-6 record this year.
Last time we met
The teams squared off in each squad's CAC regular season finale last Wednesday, with the No. 2 seed in the tournament on the line. The Captains were able to secure that spot with a 9-0 victory at the SU Tennis Courts. Two of the closest matches for Salisbury were at No. 2 doubles where Siew and classmate Matthew Ryan fell in a tie-breaker, and at No. 3 singles, where freshman Patrick MacLean lost in a three-set contest.
Making an impact
The Salisbury lineup is primed to remain near the top of the CAC standings in the future, with a number of freshmen making an impact in 2017. Salisbury's top two singles spots, and its top doubles team has be comprised of first-year players throughout the season. Colt Williamson has been a mainstay at the top of the lineup in singles and doubles, compiling a 10-6 singles mark and a 12-7 mark in doubles. Williamson has been paired with three different classmates in doubles, most recently, playing the last five matches with MacLean. Siew has also been a consistent name at the top of the singles lineup, with a 12-6 mark, primarily at No. 2.
The winner of Tuesday's match will advance to the CAC championship match against the winner of the other semifinal. Top-seeded University of Mary Washington will take on fifth-seeded York College of Pennsylvania in that match. The CAC championship is scheduled for Saturday, April 22.