SU beats No. 23 Wash. & Lee; Halfpap gets 100th career win

SU beats No. 23 Wash. & Lee; Halfpap gets 100th career win

SALISBURY, Md. - Salisbury University men's tennis coach Randy Halfpap recorded his 100th win at the university as the 30th-ranked Sea Gulls defeated No. 23 Washington & Lee University, 5-4, on Saturday. Salisbury won the match in a third set tie-breaker in the final match of the day. The maroon and gold had two wins in doubles play, and three in singles.

The doubles duo of seniors Scott Burtzlaff (Clarksville, Md.) and Evan Thomas (Salisbury, Md.) crushed the competition in first doubles, coming away with an 8-0 victory. Junior Andrew Nottage (Huntingtown, Md.) and freshman Henry Stuhler (New Windsor, Md.) found themselves down early in third doubles, 5-2. The pair rallied to 6-4, but could not keep things moving, as they fell 8-4. The No. 2 doubles team of senior Marcus Robinson (Cambridge, Md.) and junior David Lupinetti (Walkersville, Md.) defeated its opponents in a tie-breaker, 9-8 (7-4). The two jumped ahead early 3-2, but the Generals rallied and took a 5-4 lead. Salisbury took back the lead with a two-game swing thanks to Lupinetti's serving and Robinson's net work. The teams exchanged games to 8-8, and a tie-breaker was needed to determine the winner. Robinson and Lupinetti won the tie-breaker 7-4, to give SU (1-1) a 2-1 lead going into singles.

In No. 1 singles, No. 5-ranked Hayden White of Washington & Lee needed three sets to put away Burtzlaff. White won the first set 7-5 and Burtzlaff took the second 6-4. White was able to win the third set, and thus the match 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. Lupinetti was defeated by the Generals' Jeremy Becht in second singles, 6-2, 6-4. Nottage played well at No. 4 singles, as he defeated Will Hall 6-2, 6-1.

Thomas was successful at third singles, as he defeated Mac Davis in three sets. Thomas won the first set 6-3, and Davis tied up the match with a 7-6 (11-13) second set tie-breaker. In the third set Thomas dialed up the intensity and came away with a 6-2 set win. The 6-3, 6-7 (11-13), 6-2 match gave Salisbury a 4-3 lead over Washington & Lee going into the final two singles matches.

Robinson dropped the first set of his No. 5 singles match against Michael Freeman 6-1. He could not regain control, and lost the match 6-1, 6-3. The match-winner came from junior Giorgio Athans (Woolwich Township, N.J.), as he defeated Ben Fass of Washington & Lee. The two split sets 6-2, 6-7(4), and needed a third to finish the match. Athans jumped to a 2-1 lead in the third set, and Fass came back to a 4-3 lead.  The two exchanged game points to 7-6, and Athans won in the ensuing tie-breaker.

Halfpap, a 1997 graduate of Salisbury University, is in his 11th season as the helm of the men's and women's tennis programs at Salisbury University. He has led the men's program to the CAC championship match in the last four seasons and has sent individuals to the NCAA championship in 2008 and 2009.

The maroon and gold (No. 7 Atlantic South Region) will look to continue their success Sunday, as they will host Swarthmore College, which stands at No. 8 in the region. The match is slated to start at 11:30 a.m., at the indoor tennis center.

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