North Adams, MA - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon men's tennis team traveled to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in search of their first win of the season on Tuesday. The Hornets came ever so close, but the host Trailblazers prevailed by the slimist of margins, 5-4. MCLA improves to 5-4 on the season, while the Hornets remain winless in nine matches.
Three doubles matches started things off. The Hornet #1 team of Patrick Wickstrom (Lafayette, LA) and Neal Mulligan (Marshfield, VT) posted an impressive 8-2 victory over the MCLA duo of Charles Najimy and Matt Bluteau. MCLA captured the other two doubles matches, however, as Nick Castle and Samantha Gawron posted an 8-3 win over Kyle Leighton (Burrillville, RI) and Mukhtar Sheikh Abdullahi (Mogadishu, Somalia) at #2 and Briana Higgins and Mackenna Jordan downed Abukar Hassan (Kenya) and Jeremy Polonia (Lynn, MA) at #3.
Moving to singles play, Wickstrom defeated Najimy 7-5, 7-5 at #1, avenging a loss to Najimy when the two teams met on April 6th. Mulligan posted a straight set 6-4, 6-1 win over Bluteau at #2. MCLA countered when Castle downed Leighton at #3 and Gawron defeated Abdullahi at #4. Hassan picked up another point for Lyndon at #5 singles, posting a 6-4, 6-1 win over MCLA's Felix Bou. Bou had beaten Hassan 6-1, 6-1 in the April 6th match.
With the match even at 4-4, it came down to the fifth singles match between Polonia and MCLA's Mohamed Mahrous. Mahrous took the first set, 6-1, but Polonia battled back with a 7-5 win in set two. The match came down to a tiebreaker, where Mahrous was able to pull out a 7-3 win to take the match and clinch the team victory for the Trailblazers.
The Hornets return to the courts tomorrow when they host NVU-Johnson at Topnotch Resort in Stowe, VT. The non-conference contest will be a part of the NVU President's Cup Challenge. Play will begin at 3:00 pm.