The Virginia Wesleyan University men's tennis team earned a spot in Saturday's ODAC semifinal by taking down #6 seed Randolph Macon 5-2 this afternoon at the Everett Tennis Center.
The 3rd seeded Marlins came out sluggish in doubles dropping two of the three pro sets. The Yellow Jackets stung first when Grant Sarver and Ryan Aud outlasted the Marlin's team of Nick Gunther and Mitchell Perry, 8-5. With VWU down 1-0 the Marlins punched back to even the match score when freshman Timothy Tep and sophomore Anthony Wilson pulled out an 8-2 win over Jacob Haines and Shane Berry at #2. With the score knotted at 1-1 all eyes shifted to court #3 as RMC held serve at 6-7 to push the match into a tiebreaker. The Yellow Jackets went up 4-2 at the first change over and never looked back taking the match 8-7 (3) and putting RMC up 2-1 over the higher seeded Marlins.
In singles action, the Marlins kept their composure and collectively battled back by taking all 6 first sets. Marlin sophomore Mitchell Perry brought VWU even with the Yellow Jackets when he defeated RMC's Ryan Aud 6-2, 6-2, avenging a 3 set loss to Aud earlier in the season. With the match score at 2-2, Marlin sophomore Michael Portera finished out a 6-2, 6-2 win over RMC's Erik Moulton at #6 giving the Marlin's a 3-2 edge. Shortly thereafter another Marlin sophomore claimed his court when Anthony Wilson defeated RMC's senior Ryan Berry, 6-1, 6-4. With three matches remaining the Marlins only needed one more win to clinch the match and send them to the semifinals. At #3, Andreas Combos was up a set and 3-2 in the second while at #1 singles, Marlin senior Paul Gladstone was just starting a 3rd set when VWU's freshman standout Timothy Tep fought his way to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Yellow Jacket senior Jacob Haines.
With the win the Marlins improve to 15-9 overall and 9-2 in ODAC play while the Yellow Jackets end their season with a 6-6 record and 6-5 in conference play. Virginia Wesleyan will take on #2 seed Hampden-Sydney College on Saturday in the 2nd semifinal scheduled for 11 am. Both the semifinals and finals will be held at the Everett Tennis Center on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan University.