GORHAM, Maine - Travelling with just five players, the Castleton University men's tennis team was forced to forfeit a singles and doubles bout as the Spartans dropped a 7-2 decision against the Southern Maine Huskies on Saturday afternoon at the Costello Sports Complex.
Castleton falls to 2-7 overall and 0-4 in Little East play, while Southern Maine picked up its first win of the season and moved to 1-5 and 1-3 in conference action.
In the top flight of doubles, Castleton and Southern Maine turned in an epic performance, remaining notched at 7-7 and forcing extra play. The Huskies duo was able to earn a break of serve to go to 8-7 before recording a gutsy hold to win the bout 9-7. The host team pushed the advantage to 3-0 through doubles with an 8-4 victory at the second flight before picking up the other point via forfeit.
The Spartans' two points came via a physical hard-fought match at the top flight before Nate Hinson rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 decision in second singles. Winning the first set at the top flight, Jared Wheeler earned a late break of serve to win 6-4. Southern Maine's Adam Papayoanou bounced back and grabbed an early lead and held it to take the second, 6-2. With the momentum clearly shifted away from him, Wheeler battled in the super tiebreak and eventually came out on top by a 10-7 final.
Appearing in his first match for Castleton, Alex Fernald battled back from a 6-1 loss in the first set. Earning the 6-3 win in the second, Fernald tied it up and then kept the momentum rolling in the super tiebreak (10-7) to earn the three-set victory.
Castleton returns to action at 4 p.m. on Wednesday as the Spartans host the Gators of the Sage Colleges in a nonconference action.
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