Salisbury Holds Off Bearcats in Men's Tennis, 5-4

Sea Gulls Sweep Doubles; WU Wins Four Singles Matches

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

CLAREMONT, CALIF. -- Salisbury University (Md.) swept the doubles matches, but had to hold off a fierce rally by Willamette University in singles before edging out the Bearcats, 5-4, in a men's tennis match on Monday, March 21. Salisbury, ranked #9 in the Atlantic South Region of NCAA Division III, improved to 5-2 overall. Willamette, ranked #11 in the West Region, fell to 6-3 on the season.

Salisbury recently fell out of the NCAA Division III national rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on March 17. Two weeks earlier, the Sea Gulls were ranked #23.

After falling behind, Willamette battled back to tie the match at 4-4. The final team point was won by Giorgio Athans of Salisbury when he outlasted Matthew Houser (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) in a third-set tie-breaker at #4 singles, 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (7-5).

The top doubles team for Salisbury, Andrew Nottage and Daniel Barnas, is ranked #10 in the Atlantic South. Nottage and Barnas defeated Michael Baumgartner (So., Albany, OR/West Albany HS) and Houser in the #1 doubles match, 8-3. David Lupinetti and Henry Stuhler of Salisbury gained a narrow win at #2 doubles, 9-7, over Joshua Wong (So., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS) and Cody Ferguson (Jr., North Bend, OR/North Bend HS/Western Oregon Univ.).

At #3 doubles, Athans and Justin Smith defeated Garrett Vincent (Fr., Seattle, WA/Seattle Prep/Bellevue CC) and Will Cooper (Fr., Gresham, OR/Centennial HS), 8-5.

Willamette eventually tied the score by winning #1, #2, #3 and #6 singles.

In the top singles match, Baumgartner, ranked #26 in the West Region,  won the first and third sets for a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win over Nottage. At #2 singles, Wong downed Lupinetti in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. The #3 singles match was won by Ferguson over Barnas, 6-0, 6-1.

At #6 singles, Cooper defeated Justin Smith in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Stuhler of Salisbury moved past Vincent, 6-1, 6-1 at #5 singles, leaving the #4 singles match to determine the overall winner.

Houser from Willamette dropped the first set to Athans, but rallied back with a strong second set. In the third set, Houser fell behind by a service break, but eventually tied the set at 6-6. In the tie-breaker, Athans built a 6-3 lead before Houser pull to within 6-5. Athans won the next point to claim his individual win as well as Salisbury's team triumph.

Willamette is slated to take on George Fox University on Tuesday, March 22, in a Northwest Conference match at the University of California-Irvine in Irvine, Calif. The match was originally scheduled to be played in Newberg, Ore., on March 4, but was rained out.

Salisbury University (Md.) 5
Willamette University 4
(at Claremont, Calif.)
Michael Baumgartner defeated Andrew Nottage at #1 singles, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Michael Baumgartner defeated Andrew Nottage at #1 singles, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.