By KATE LEBOFF
In a streak-breaking loss this past Sunday, the no. 23 ranked UMW men’s tennis team fell to Johns Hopkins University 7-2 in a home match.
The competition was stiff with Division III Johns Hopkins being ranked seven spots higher nationally than the Eagles at no. 16. Johns Hopkins added this win to their 15–5 record while the Eagles fell to 13–11.
According to freshman, Ryan Byrd, “The match was a lot closer than the score indicates.”
In both is doubles and singles matches, sophomore Alex Blakhin carried the team winning both competitions taking down Andy Hersh in the singles match. With the help of his partner, freshman Tyler Carey, Blakhin defeated Hersh again along with Jeff Kamei in the doubles match with a solid 8-4 win.
Carey and Blahkin were the only doubles duo that won for Eagles in this match against such a talented team as Johns Hopkins. The explosive pair of freshman Evan Charles and Donato Rizzolo was defeated in their doubles match 8–4.
Senior Captain Riley Baver and freshman Kaleb Nguyen took a hard fall to their opponents with a 8–1 loss in their doubles match.
Going into singles 1-2, the Eagles were a bit downtrodden. Blakhin shined in defeat being the only Eagle to win at no. 1 singles in third set point super-tiebreaker. Blahkin won the first set, lost the second, and secured the 10 point super-tiebreaker with a 10–7 win.
“Alex played superb against a player from Johns Hopkins, Andy Hersh, who won the Fall ITA
[Intercollegiate Tennis Associaion] tournament here at UMW this past fall,” said Byrd. Hersh is ranked sixth in the nation for singles and third in the Atlantic South Region for singles.”
Charles took a tough loss in his singles match losing 6–1 in both sets. Both Carey and junior William Apperson lost both sets in singles 6–2. Captain Riley Baver lost both sets as well losing the first 6–2 but putting up a strong fight in the second with a close score of 6-4. Nguyen’s first set of his singles match was intense with a 7–6 loss but ended in defeat at 6-2.
“Everyone played well, but the matches just didn’t go our way,” stated Ryan Byrd.
The UMW men’s tennis team hosted yet another match this week on Tuesday, April 24, versus York College in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinals.
The Eagles rocked the game, sweeping up triumph across the board winning the match 9–0 and improving their overall record to 14-12.
The UMW men’s team was on their game winning in both the singles and doubles competitions.
“Everyone played very, very well” said to Byrd.
The freshman Kaleb Nguyen stood out from the already impressive winnings with a complete shutout, at 6–0, in both sets of his singles competition.
Nguyen had a hand in yet another shutout for the day with a solid 8–0 win with his doubles partner Captain Riley Baver.
Doubles duo junior William Apperson and freshman Tyler Carey also had a shut out at 8–0 in their match.
Tomorrow at 4 p.m. the UMW men’s tennis team will host the CAC Championshi against Salisbury College.