ADRIAN, Mich. – The men's tennis team surged ahead under pressure on Thursday afternoon inside the Merillat Center and won 5-4 over Spring Arbor University. The Bulldogs found themselves in a 2-1 hole after doubles play in three hotly contested matchups. Michael Mertz and Spencer Georgetti picked up a point at No. 2 with an 8-6 win over Andrew Herlein and Michael Darling. Ryan Delacy and Alex Amos battled at No. 3 before falling 8-6 against John Hall and Aaron Laatch. Jordan Verbauwhede and Joey Loselle could not find consistency at No. 1 doubles with an 8-5 loss to Matt Wojtkowski and Jesse DeBoer.
"All the doubles matches were close, but we only could pull out one victory. Michael and Spencer stepped up for the team and rallied to get us on the board," said head coach Adam Albertsen.
In singles play, the Bulldogs jumped back into action with victories at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. Verbauwhede fell behind 3-0 in the first set, but rallied to win 6-4 and 6-3 to even the match score at 2-2. Joey Loselle picked up a straight set victory at No. 2 by winning 7-5, 6-3.
"We had a talk after doubles with Joey and Jordan to step up and just play their game. Their play could have gone either direction and they dug deep to pick up two huge points for us," said Albertsen.
After a Spring Arbor win at No. 3 singles, the match was tied 3-3. With three matches remaining the Bulldogs relied on the bottom half of the singles lineup. Alex Amos dropped the first set 1-6, but changed up the pace to win the second set 6-4. In the tiebreaker, Amos won 10-8 over Darling to move the Bulldogs ahead 4-3.
Two matches remained on the court in heated action. Both No. 4 Ryan Delacy and No. 6 Troy Gargrave split sets causing the match to come down to a 10-point tiebreaker. Gargrave picked up the 10-7 win to seal the victory for the Bulldogs. Delacy continued to battle before falling 10-8 in his own tiebreaker.
"Troy, Alex and Ryan all played tremendous matches for us tonight. We could have gotten tight due to the pressure on the match, but everyone stepped up when we needed them. Alex changed up his style and never gave up after a rough first set. Troy did what Troy does, he played a smart match and came up clutch with a huge tiebreaker win under pressure. It was a great win for our guys in front of the home crowd, one we hope to build on and grow as a team," said Albertsen.