Buena Vista, Va. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland men's tennis team bowed out of the 2016 Capital Athletic Conference Men's Tennis Championship Tournament Friday afternoon. The fifth-seeded Seahawks dropped a 6-3 decision to No. 4 seed Southern Virginia University.
The loss wraps up the 2015-16 season for St. Mary's with a 7-10 (3-4 CAC) overall record under first-year head coach Tyler Robinson. With the win, Southern Virginia (11-9) advances to the CAC semifinals on Wednesday, April 20 at top-seeded University of Mary Washington.
Southern Virginia claimed an early 2-0 lead with wins at No. 3 and No. 2 doubles before senior captain Mark Hardesty (Westminster, Md./Westminster) and sophomore Connor McKissick (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) stopped the Knights' run with a thrilling 8-6 triumph over sophomore T.J. Snelson (Granger, Ind./Penn) and first-year Justin Fullmer (Idaho Falls, Idaho/Bonneville) in the top doubles match.
The Knights opened up singles action with straight-set victories at No. 3 and No. 4 singles for a 4-1 lead. St. Mary's closed the gap to 4-3 behind victories at No. 5 and No. 6 singles. Senior Nick Ersoy (Prince Frederick, Md./Huntingtown) posted a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over senior Brennan Alford (Dallas, Texas/Richardson) in the fifth flight to finish his senior campaign at 8-5, including a 6-2 mark at No. 5.
McKissick followed Ersoy's lead with a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 6 singles over junior Kjell Henness (Las Vegas, Nev./Coronado). McKissick ends his second year with the Seahawks with a 7-7 record, including a 3-1 mark at No. 6.
St. Mary's could not continue its momentum despite hard-fought matches by Hardesty and senior captain Robert Bishop (Hollywood, Md./Great Mills) at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. Hardesty fell 6-4, 7-5 to junior Tyler Clark (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin) for a 9-9 record this season while Bishop lost in three, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 to Snelson.
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