CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The Ursinus College men's tennis team fought hard but ultimately did not have quite enough to get past Washington College in a de facto Centennial Conference play-in match, suffering a 6-3 setback on the road.
Washington College (10-4, 4-2) took control in the race for the fifth and final CC playoff spot, now needing one win or a loss by the Bears (12-6, 4-4) to punch its ticket.
Junior Max Oberholtzer and sophomore Paul Vecchio gave Ursinus a 1-0 lead with an 8-1 rout of Jake Sandler and Chris Salisbury at number one doubles, but the Shoremen grabbed the reins with comfortable results on the first and third courts.
Senior Chanton Phan dominated Luke Weaver 6-1, 6-1 to knot the match at 2 courts apiece. Washington College, ranked No. 20 in the Atlantic South region, prevailed in the next three matches to lock up the final result, though the Bears made things interesting.
The Shoremen cruised at fourth and sixth singles, but Ursinus was in the mix in all three of the remaining flights. Oberholtzer and junior Peter Shields were in third sets, and Vecchio held a 5-4 lead in the second set of his second singles tilt. But Salisbury ended the drama with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 triumph over Oberholtzer at number one.
Shields did come back from a set down to post a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Jeremy Novick at number five before Vecchio succumbed to a 6-1, 7-6 (2) score against Jake Sandler.
Oberholtzer and Vecchio collected their 13th doubles victory of the season, one shy of the school record set by Evan Lord and Logan Metcalf-Kelly in 2014.
The men's tennis team concludes its season at home against No. 21 Johns Hopkins on Saturday, April 22.