William and Mary opened its spring season with a resounding success, earning not one but two victories Sunday at McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center. The Tribe knocked off Radford 4-1 in the morning session, and overpowered Navy 5-2 in the nightcap.
The College opened the day with a strong start by capturing the doubles point. Junior John Banks and senior Anton Andersson claimed the first match of the day, downing their Radford counterparts — Randall Carter and Javier Waase — by a score of 8-2 in the No. 3 spot. Junior Ben Guthrie and senior Adrian Vodislav followed suit in the No. 2 spot, defeating Patrick O’Keefe and Joe Mills 8-4.
Singles play began with a shaky start, as Radford’s Nicholas Sayer defeated junior Ben Guthrie at the No. 1 position. Sayer took the first set 6-3 and was leading the second set 4-2 before Guthrie retired, tying the match at one point apiece. Banks then pulled ahead by downing Waase 6-1, 6-2.
Junior Ben Hoogland downed O’Keefe in the No. 4 position, 6-4, 6-2 to give the College a 3-1 advantage. With Radford leading the No. 2 and No. 3 matches, Andersson faced an important crossroads. The senior needed to defeat Carter in order to seal the College’s first victory of the season. Andersson came through in the clutch, clinching the match with a 6-0, 7-5 shellacking of Carter in the No. 5 position.
With a victory already under its belt, the Tribe headed into its afternoon match against Navy seeking a 2-0 start to the young season.
The College’s match against the Midshipmen started in a similar fashion to its match against Radford. The Tribe again claimed the doubles point on the strength of its No. 2 and No. 3 teams. Freshman Scott Huang and Banks downed Blake Daniel and Nicholas Gutsche with a commanding 8-4 performance. Andersson and sophomore Aaron Chaffee also defeated their Midshipmen counterparts, 8-3 to capture the doubles point and send the Tribe into singles play with a 1-0 advantage.
Banks came through again for the Tribe in singles play, downing Daniel in dominating fashion, 6-1, 6-2 to give the College a 2-0 advantage. Hoogland then joined the fray, defeating Navy’s Peter McDonald in a 6-2, 6-3 match.
Navy then made a brief comeback, reeling off two straight singles victories. Navy’s Calvin Mark eeked out a 7-5 first set victory over Chaffee, and then finished him off with a 6-1 second set in the No. 1 spot to claim Navy’s first points of the match. Austin Jones took down Andersson 7-6, 6-1 in the No. 3 spot to cut the Tribe advantage to 3-2 with two matches remaining.
Huang and Vodislav, in the No. 6 and No. 5 spots respectively, were both engaged in tough battles that would ultimately decide the match. Huang claimed the first set over Burnett, 6-2, but Burnett fought back in the second, 6-4, to force a deciding third set.
Vodislav, meanwhile, captured his first set against Gutsche 7-5, but also fell 6-4 in the second set. With both crucial matches in the third set, the Tribe’s hopes of victory hung in the balance.
Huang finished first, as he successfully dispatched Burnett with a commanding 6-3 performance in the final set, allowing the Tribe to claim a 5-2 victory over Navy.
With its first dual-match victory of the season in the books, the Tribe hopes to continue its winning streak Feb. 1 when North Florida visits Williamsburg.