BEVERLY, Mass. – A heroic effort fell just shy Thursday afternoon as the Emerson Men's Tennis Team saw their stellar 2013 season come to a close in a tight 5-3 loss to Suffolk in the GNAC North Semifinals. The Lions finish the season at 10-2 on the year while Suffolk improves to 7-6 and onto the GNAC Finals.
Doubles play showcased some electric tennis as all three matches were close. The Rams notched the first point of the match in the two spot as Mitchell Lance and Niklas Rhodes were unable to hold off Drew Reilly and Calixto Romero in an 8-4 loss.
It looked grim when the next point went to Suffolk as well with Marc Winkler and Aaron Lau topped Steve Frend and Kevin Blisniuk in the one spot with an 8-5 win. Emerson fired back though as Vincent Castellini and Zach Connolly dug in to stop the sweep rallying for a 9-7 win in the three spot to make it 2-1.
Singles proved more of the same as the match was set to come down to the wire as Suffolk inched closer to the W with Niklas Rhodes falling 6-3, 6-4 in the six spot.
EC showed heart though as they knotted it up at three each with Kevin Blisniuk put away Marc Winkler in the one spot 7-5, 6-3. Teammate Zach Connolly followed his lead in the five spot as he won the first set over Dachuan Zhu 6-1, but Zhu fired back with a gritty 7-5 win. Connolly wasn't about to forgo his perfect season though as he put up a dominant 6-1 win in the third set to move to 7-0 on the year.
Afterwards it was a race to the finish as Vincent Castellini put up a valiant effort in the four spot against SU's Drew Reilly as Reilly took the first set 6-1. Castellini scrapped back with a 6-4 win of his own to even it up. He couldn't hold up the intensity in the third set though as reilly closed it out 6-1.
Mitchell Lance was Emerson's last hope with Suffolk up 4-3 as he took on Calixto Romero in the two spot with Romero snaking a 6-3 win in the first set. Lance was determined though as he roared back with a 6-2 win of his own. The final set was a back-and-fourth battle, but in the end Romero prevailed 6-4 to clinch the win.
For the man of the match, Head Coach Gavin Barton named the entire team for the honor. The match closes out Emerson's 2013 season and they'd like to wish their fans, friends and family for all their support throughout the season.