Spangler advances to singles final as men's tennis hosts Sea Gull Open

Spangler advances to singles final as men's tennis hosts Sea Gull Open

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's tennis team came to the courts for the first time this semester, hosting the Sea Gull Open at the Salisbury University Indoor Tennis Courts, Friday through Sunday.

Senior Eric Spangler, Salisbury's top returning player for the 2016 season, had a bye in the first round before winning his second round singles match 6-0, 6-0 and claiming another win in the quarterfinals 6-1, 6-0 before topping classmate Shanon Gunther 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals.

In a tough final match Spangler, the No. 2 seed, fell to top-seed and now three-time Sea Gull Open champion, Daniel Albers, a former Sea Gull, who will serve as an assistant coach for the team this season. Albers collected the win, 7-5, 6-1.

Spangler also had a strong run in the doubles draw with Gunther as the pair won their first two matches, before ultimately falling in the semifinals against Kyle Tobin and Evan Thomas.

Tobin, a Sea Gull assistant coach, and Thomas, a former player for Salisbury faced the top-seeded team of Albers and Salisbury Head Coach Randy Halfpap in the championship match. The pairs split the first two sets before Tobin and Thomas grabbed a key service break to take a 5-2 lead in the third set. Halfpap and Albers would draw even, and force a tie-breaker, which Tobin and Thomas took, 7-2, for the title.

In the singles draw, Gunther won his first round match 6-0, 6-1 and his second round match 6-1, 6-3 before claiming the quarterfinal round match 6-1, 6-0 to meet up with Spangler in the semis.

Junior Grant Hudson, sophomore Kelson Weber, and freshman Andrew Rainger each picked up first-round wins in the singles draw.

Hudson won 6-1, 6-3, while Rainger was a 6-2, 6-3 winner in his Sea Gull debut. Weber's match went three sets, for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Sophomore Connor Truitt dropped the first set of his first round match, 6-2, and battled throughout the second set, but fell, 7-5.

The Sea Gulls will play their first official match on February 19, hosting Juniata College; the match is scheduled for 6 p.m., start. 

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