VIRGINIA BEACH -- Kenny Downing produced a pay-back on Saturday that capped a 5-1 victory for Virginia Wesleyan College's Marlins in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) semifinal tennis match at the Everett Tennis Center.
Downing (Washington, D.C./home schooled) posted an impressive 6-1, 6-3 win over Trevor Cox (Chapel Hill, N.C./Northwood) at the No. 2 position to give VWC's its fifth and deciding point. It was a gratifying win for Downing, who dropped a 6-2, 7-5 decision to Cox in the regular season meeting between the teams.
The victory not only helped to secure a spot in the ODAC championship match against No. 32 ranked Washington and Lee University on Sunday at 10 a.m., but it also gave VWC Tennis Director Darryl Cummings the 600th victory in his career. Cummings' career includes 20 years at Division I Old Dominion University.
His 2015 Marlins will take a 14-4 record into Sunday's championship match, which marks the second straight title match appearance for the Virginia Wesleyan men. Washington and Lee, which has won 33 ODAC men's tennis titles, is currently 14-8, including a 5-1 win over VWC in early March.
Virginia Wesleyan took a big step towards Saturday's win by gaining the advantage with a 2-1 lead after doubles competition. Tyler Chang (Havre deGrave, Md./Tome School) and Downing united to defeat Aaron Smedley (West Chicago, Ill./Barlett) and Cox 8-2 at No. 2, while Brendan Kelleher (Baltimore/Towson) and Drew Tomajczyk (Chesterfield/home schooled) rolled to an 8-1 win oat No. 3. Erik Meiler (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) and Turner Votipka (Nashville, N.C./Nash Central) proved the Quakers with their only point via a thrilling 8-6 decision at No. 1 over Graham Wilson (Newport News/Menchville) and rookie Adam Rosemblaum (Herzelya, Israel/Hayovel).
Rosenblum started the push towards the overall win by posting a 6-3, 6-1 win over Mason Church (Wilkesboro, N.C./Millers Creek Christian) at No. 5 singles, before Kelleher gave the Marlins a 4-1 advantage with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Levi Bruff (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) at No. 6. Downing's win at No. 2 ended the match.
Kelleher improved to 8-0 at the No. 6 flight and to 11-1 overall. Rosemblaum is now 8-0 at No. 5 and 13-3 overall, and Downing is 9-6 at No. 2 and overall. Downing and Chang improved to 6-1 in doubles, while Kelleher and Tomjaczyk remain undefeated as a duo with a 6-0 record.