Win at Washington pushes men's tennis into conference semifinals

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Haverford College's men's tennis team advanced into the semifinal round of the Centennial Conference tournament with Wednesday afternoon's 5-1 victory over host Washington College in the opening round of the postseason tournament.

The fifth-seeded Fords (11-7) took down the No. 4-seed Shoremen (9-8) after losing the regular-season match-up on the same courts as Wednesday's triumph.

The win will send Haverford to Baltimore, Md., on Saturday when it will square off against 16th-ranked and top seed Johns Hopkins University in a 3 p.m. match. The other semifinal on Saturday pits second-seeded Franklin & Marshall College against visiting Swarthmore College, the No. 3 seed.

Against the Shoremen on Wednesday, Haverford was able to break in front during doubles action with wins at Nos. 2 and 3 for the first points of the match.

Matthew Cebul and Matt Romei closed out the initial point with an 8-6 win over Marc Cywinski and Vishnu Rajes at 2-doubles. The second point came from the No. 3 pairing of Will Garrett and Natty Sergay which won by the score of 8-5. The doubles win by Sergay is the seventh in his last eight matches and his fifth in a row. Garrett has teamed with Sergay for six of the eight wins.

Washington earned the point at No. 1 doubles to prevent the Fords from the sweep, but that win proved to only delay the favorable outcome for Haverford which closed out the match victory winning the first three singles matches played to completion.

Cebul picked up his second point of the day by downing Kyle Lisco in straight sets at No. 6 singles, then Jacob Weisenthal put the Fords on the brink of the match victory with a win at 5-singles, coming back from an opening set loss to win the final two sets by scores of 6-1 and 6-3.

The clinching point came from Romei who had to battle back from a 7-6 (7-5) opening set loss to Washington's Dan Boate at 3-singles. Romei, perhaps playing with the desire to earn the winning point for Haverford, rolled to 6-0, 6-0 wins in the final sets to earn the Fords the right to move on to Baltimore and the semis.

Wednesday's singles matches at Nos. 1, 2 and 4 went unfinished after Romei's winning point.

The semifinal contest Saturday against Hopkins will be a rematch of one of last season's semifinals in which the Blue Jays were able to defeat the Fords on their way to the conference title and a berth in the 2011 NCAA tournament.