Sea Gulls kickoff season with success at Sea Gull Open

SALISBURY, Md. - The 10th annual Sea Gull Open was very successful for the Salisbury University men's and women's tennis teams as the men had two players reach the semifinals in the singles for the first time in eight years and the women had the singles runner-up.

Sophomore Matthew Nicholson kicked off his Sea Gull career in impressive fashion as he advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Ryan Davidson. Davidson spent time on the pro tour and was ranked as high as 400 in the world.

In addition, Nicholson teamed up with junior Brendan Kincaid in the doubles event as the two finished second to Davidson and men's singles runner-up David Jackson.

Freshman Scott Burtzlaff advanced to the semifinals of the men's single and fell to Jackson. Jackson is currently the No. 1 player at Division I University of Maryland Baltimore County. Burtzlaff advanced to the semifinals by beating sophomore teammate Sasha Felikson in the quarterfinals.

The team of Kincaid and Nicholson had a tough time advancing to the finals as fellow Sea Gulls Burtzlaff and freshman Evan Thomas took the school's No. 1 doubles team to three sets. Kincaid and Nicholson eventually won, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

The players weren't the only ones who got involved in the event. SU coach Randy Halfpap teamed up with assistant coach Nick Peel to advance to the semifinals in the doubles event.  

On the women's side, senior Erika Mitry advanced to the finals as she lost to Grace Cheng, the No. 25 player in the 18 and under Mid-Atlantic region, 6-1, 6-2.

Mitry also advanced to the finals in the women's doubles as she teamed up with senior Jenny Rosler. Cheng and Audrey Cheng defeated Mitry and Rosler by default.

Other highlights include freshman Kelly Fahrner who reached the semifinals in singles and doubles. Fahrner defeated fellow freshman Jackie Burr in the quarterfinals in the three sets, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

Fahrner teamed up with sophomore Hannah Parsons in doubles as they lost to Mitry and Rosler, 6-1, 6-4.

The women return to action on Saturday, March 3 as they host Virginia Wesleyan and New York at 11 am and 3:30 pm while the men travel to Camden, N.J. to take part in the Drew Invitational on Saturday and Sunday, February 24 and 25.

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