SALISBURY, Md. - The Salisbury University men's and women's tennis teams dominated in their respective Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal matches Thursday against St. Mary's (Md.) College. The No. 22 Salisbury men's team won 8-1 while the women shut out the Seahawks, 9-0.
The Sea Gulls advance to the CAC championships this weekend. Salisbury's women's team, the second-seed, will travel to Fredericksburg, Va., on Saturday to face the top-seed University of Mary Washington at 2 p.m. The Eagles, ranked No. 7 in the nation, have won the last four conference titles. The last time SU won the women's tennis title was in 2003. Salisbury's men's team, the top-seed, will host second-seed Mary Washington on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Eagles have won the last eight conference titles and are ranked No. 12 in the country. Salisbury last won a CAC title in 1999.
The SU men's team, ranked third in the Atlantic South region, received a great performance from freshman Andrew Nottage and sophomore Marcus Robinson at No. 1 doubles. The duo earned their second win at first doubles this season as they defeated SMC's Jeremy Butanis and Andrew MacLaughlin, 8-2. Robinson's punishing spikes and Nottage's consistent serving gave the Sea Gulls an early 4-0 lead. The team played well together as Robinson's hard spike in the eighth point won the match. At second doubles the team of freshman David Lupinetti and junior Sasha Felkinson breezed by the SMC team of Travis Horrom and Alex Djinis, 8-0. Solid teamwork and ball placement pushed the team to victory. The only loss of the day belonged to the No.3 doubles team of freshmen Matt Copeland and Giorgio Athans. The match was knotted at three apiece before Seahawks Tyler Smith and Sam Barton pulled ahead to 3-6. SU won the next two points before SMC closed out the 5-8 win.
In men's singles play the Sea Gulls took every match, not losing a single set to St. Mary's. At No. 1 singles junior Matt Nicholson played exceptional against Butanis. Nicholson's tough serves, which hard for Butanis to return, and great cross-court shots led to the 6-3, 6-1 win. Felkinson played well at second singles against MacLaughlin as his great drop shots and solid backhand in the second set sealed the win at 6-2, 6-2. Lupinetti and Nottage each recorded a 6-0, 6-0 straight set victories at third and fourth singles, respectively. Lupinetti's consistent backhand and ground strokes led to his win against Jeff Levy. Nottage hit a finesse drop shot to win the third point in the first set. Robinson took down Barton 6-1, 6-1 at fifth singles. Robinson's backspins shots down the line allowed him to pull ahead in the second set backed up by his solid serves gave him the win. Athans capped the sweep at sixth singles as he maintained control against SMC's Kenny Nugent with solid ground strokes en route to a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
The Sea Gull women's team, ranked No. 13 in the region, started their sweep of the Seahawks with three doubles points. Sophomore Jackie Burr and junior Anna Marie Kable, ranked No. 7 in the region for doubles, jumped out to a 5-2 lead over Sarah Weisse and Michelle Compton at first doubles thanks to Kable's solid ground strokes. Weisse hit a shot down the SU line but a sprinting Burr was there to return it between her opponents for the 8-3 win. SU juniors Hannah Parsons and Robyn Wendell pulled ahead of their opponents at second doubles with an early 6-3 lead. SMC's duo of Monica Powell and Erin Marzoli rallied to make it 4-7 but Wendell's comfortable serving pushed the Gulls to the 8-4 win. The third doubles duo of junior Lauren Bakker and freshman Angela Tenaglia defeated SMC's Colleen O'Neil and Katherine Garlock. SU jumped out early to 4-1 lead before the Seahawks won the next two points. Bakker's service game sealed the 8-3 win.
It was more of the same for Salisbury in singles competition. The Sea Gulls' first through fourth singles' matches each jumped out to 3-0 leads in the first sets. Sophomore Kelly Fahrner used a consistent ground strokes and timely lob shots to key her 6-0, 6-1 win at first singles over Weisse. Parsons made her season debut at second singles won 6-3, 6-2 against Compton as she was exceptional at the net. Sophomore Kristen King, also moved up a spot and made her season debut at No. 3 singles, played well and cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Powell. King's cross court returns were pivotal in her second set as she sealed the victory. Tenaglia was effective with her returns and hit some nice drop shots to win 6-0, 6-2 at fourth singles. Freshman Julia Glanz beat O'Neil after rallying from a 2-1 deficit in the first set at fifth singles. Glanz went on to win 6-3, 6-1 with her accurate ball placement. Bakker, the first to finish singles play, made quick work of Garlock with a 6-0, 6-1 victory.