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The Blue & Gray Press | February 22, 2018

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Men’s tennis starts spring off with statement victories

The University of Mary Washington men’s tennis team is ranked No. 28 in the nation and is poised to rise in the ranks after defeating No. 27 Stevens Institute of Technology 6-3 on Saturday, Feb. 15. On Saturday, the Eagles traveled to Swathmore, Penn. to extend their undefeated start.DSC_0832_article_rotator_article_rotator

“The team played a solid match on Saturday against our first strong opponent, ranked No. 27 in the nation, of the year,” said UMW men’s tennis coach Todd Helbling. “I was happy with our energy and effort.”

Winning two of three doubles and four of six singles matches, the UMW Eagles maintained their momentum all day.

The momentum started early with a doubles win by No. 1 team Tyler Carey and Evan Charles, as well as Brandon Griffin and Stratton Gilmore.

Carey and Charles squeaked out their victory over Stevens’ No. 1 Ben Foran and Antonio Perch 9-8 (7-4). Griffin and Gilmore did more than their part by picking up a hard fought 8-3 win over Stevens’ Michael Feldman and Brett Derrington.

The great victories in the double matches propelled the Eagles into the singles matches. The UMW tennis team ended up winning four out of six singles matches, continuing the year’s dominant year’s performance.

Evan Charles and Stratton Gilmore each got their second victories of the days in their singles matches. Charles, in UMW’s No. 2 spot, came back after a disappointing first set beat Stevens’ Ben Foran 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-2. UMW’s No. 2 Stratton Gilmore had an extremely impressive win over Michael Feldman 6-1, 6-1.

The winning continued down the line with a superb win by UMW’s No. 5 Alexander Blakhin downing Antonio Perch 6-4, 6-1. The No. 6 Eagle, David Lunding-Johansson, rounded off the day with a pivotal victory over Brett Derrington 6-2, 6-1.

“It was a good showing and we are excited about even stronger competition going forward,” said Helbling

There is no doubt that being 3-0 is the perfect way to begin the year. With a long season ahead, the UMW Eagles are set up to excel this year.

The Eagles will certainly have a busy weekend hosting the annual UMW Invite. The first match begins Saturday, Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. against Vassar College (4-0). The invite continues at 3 p.m. against Denison University (1-1) and the fun keeps rolling into Sunday with a 9 a.m. start time against N.C. Wesleyan (0-0).

All matches will be held at the UMW Tennis Center on Hanover Street.