Virginia Beach, VA – The Virginia Wesleyan University men's tennis team hosted regional rival Averett University on Saturday afternoon at the Everett Tennis Center.
The Marlins headed into the match on a two match win streak with wins against Goucher and Emory Henry. Averett came into the match with a 4-1 mark with their only loss coming at the hands of Southern Virginia University.
The Marlins got off to a slow start in doubles action dropping #1 8-2, putting Averett up 1-0. At #2 doubles, Senior Paul Gladstone and Junior Mike Portera went up 4-1 early on but let the lead slip away losing the set 8-6. At #3 VWU's team of freshman Timothy Tep and sophomore Anthony Wilson dropped a very close and tightly contested 8-6 decision putting the Marlins down 0-3 heading into singles.
With the Marlin's down 3-0 they would need to claim five of six singles contests to take the match. Averett went up 4-0 when Averett freshman Patrick Shields defeated the Marlin's Nick Gunther 6-0, 6-1. In a 0-4 hole the Marlins went on a rally capturing #4 and #5 singles. At #5 Marlin sophomore Mitchell Perry took down Averett's Fabian Howding 7-5, 6-1 putting the Marlin's down 4-1. Soon thereafter Marlin Freshman Timothy Tep defeated Luis Chen 6-4, 6-3 and securing anotehr crucial point. With Marlins down 4-3, senior Paul Gladstone dropped a close 3 set match at #1 with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 decision. With the match clinched for Averett #3 singles played a deciding match tiebreaker in lieu of a 3rd set. Marlin junior Andreas Combos earned two match points during the match tiebreaker before dropping contest 7-5, 3-6, 11-9 giving Averett the 6-3 decision.
The Marlin's head to Hilton Head, SC next Saturday where they will play 6 matches during the week before heading to Guilford on Saturday March 23rd for a key ODAC match-up.