Men’s tennis: Tribe sweeps first two rounds, falters in championship

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Christian Cargill. COURTESY IMAGE / TRIBE ATHLETICS.

William and Mary traveled to Elon, North Carolina this weekend to compete in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship. The Tribe entered the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center as the No. 1 seed. After plowing through the competition sweep after sweep, in a repeat of the 2017 conference championship, the College was unable to upset reigning CAA Champion North Carolina-Wilmington.

Quarterfinals

Friday, the Tribe dominated Delaware, seeded at No. 8 in the conference, in a 4-0 washout.

Freshman Michael Chen and sophomore Brenden Volk triumphed over Nathan Benyowitz and Laurenz Lankes 6-1 at the No. 2 spot. The duo of senior Christian Cargill and freshman Louis Newman followed suit with a 6-4 victory over Justice Jones and Curran Verma at the No. 3 spot, claiming the doubles point for the College.

The Tribe was relentless against the Blue Hens in singles play. Freshman Finbar Talcott stole the first singles point for the College with his 6-2, 6-0 victory over Blaise Casselbury at the No. 5 spot. Cargill commanded the No. 1 spot, sweeping Dustin Britton 6-0, 6-2. Senior Lars de Boer’s clinched the match victory for the Tribe with his success at the No. 4 spot, winning both sets against Jones, 6-1.

With this, the College moved on to play Drexel in the semifinals.

Semifinals

Saturday, the Tribe found itself another 4-0 sweep, this time against the Dragons. Drexel was seeded No. 5 going into the CAA championship.

Volk and Chen were, again, the ones to ignite the College’s strong performance in doubles play. The duo’s 6-3 victory over Balaji Lakshmanan and Sanil Jagtiani marked the pairs ninth win of the last 10 contests. Cargill and Newman again came out on top at the bottom spot with a 6-3 success over Xandy Hammitt and Hamza Laalej. The Tribe, like the previous morning, went into singles play on top of a 1-0 advantage over the Dragons.

Freshman Sebastian Quiros was the first to claim a singles point for the College. At the No. 5 spot, he took down Bernard Tefel 6-3 in the first set, followed by a 6-0 conquest in the second set. Talcott followed, with an easy victory over Jagtiani with two sets of 6-2, putting the Tribe up 3-0. Volk finished off the sweep at the No. 6 spot, defeating Youssef Lahlou 6-3, 6-2.

Cargill’s success at the No. 3 spot in doubles marked his 84th win of his career. This improves his position on the Tribe’s doubles victories list to a tie for seventh with head coach Jeff Kader ’05.

The Tribe went on to face off against No. 3 seed and defending CAA champion UNC-Wilmington.

Championship

Sunday, the College fell to defending CAA Champions UNC-Wilmington 4-2 after a long and hard-fought battle in a repeat of last season’s heartbreaking season end.

For the first time in the conference championship, the College was unable to jump to an early lead with the doubles point. Chen and Volk lost at the No. 2 spot for the first time this weekend in a tight 7-5 matchup against Michael Morphy and Andres Torres.

Down for the first time this weekend, the Tribe fought to make a comeback. Cargill found success at the No. 1 spot, defeating Torres 6-4, 6-1. In a back and forth battle for the lead, Seahawk Agustin Savarino defeated senior Alec Miller 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 2 spot before Volk came back with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Morphy. The Tribe had managed to tie the contest up 2-2, marking as close as it would come to the CAA crown this year.

UNC-Wilmington’s Daniel Groom defeated Quiros 6-3, 6-4 at the No. 5 spot. Newman suffered a loss to Ignasi de Rueda at the No. 3 spot, 7-6 (3), 7-5, bringing the championship to a close.

Despite suffering this loss and saying goodbye to its seniors, the Tribe and its underclassmen had a strong showing that it looks forward to continuing into next season.

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