LANCASTER, Pa. – Haverford College's men's tennis team advanced into the championship final of the Centennial Conference postseason tournament with a 5-3 win over host Franklin & Marshall College on Sunday in the semifinal round of the playoffs.
The Fords (11-6) will square off against host and ninth-ranked Johns Hopkins University on Sunday at 11 a.m. with the tournament title on the line. Saturday's loss ends the season for F&M (11-9).
Two weeks ago the Diplomats came to Haverford and finished the doubles matches with a 2-1 lead before closing out their 6-3 victory in singles action. Saturday's doubles results were flipped as the Fords won at Nos. 2 and 3, avenging a pair of losses in the regular-season match.
Luis Acaba and Sloan Millman rolled to the first point for Haverford on Saturday as the No. 3 tandem captured an 8-4 win. The pairing of Matthew Cebul and Matt Romei at 2-doubles also earned a win, turning the regular season loss to F&M's Ross Silverberg and Tommy Weibye into an 8-6 victory on Saturday.
Leading 2-1 heading into singles action, the Fords needed three points from the six singles matches to clinch the victory and advance to Sunday.
Franklin & Marshall tightened the match with wins at 3- and 5-singles but the Fords captured straight-set wins at Nos. 1 and 6 before Acaba added the clinching point in a three-setter at No. 2.
Kevin Caulfield squared off against Silverburg at No. 1, pitting a pair of regionally-ranked opponents against each other at the top of the ladder. Caulfield, 10th in the Atlantic South region, downed Silverburg, ninth in the Atlantic South, by scores of 6-2, 6-4.
Cebul rolled to his win at No. 6 by taking an easy 6-2, 6-0 win over Alex Tunner.
The battle of the day came at No. 2 with Acaba and F&M's William MacArthur playing the only three-setter on the day.
Acaba broke out front with a 6-2 win in the opening set, but MacArthur rallied in the second to pull even with a 7-6 (7-4) win. Acaba, who fell to MacArthur in straight sets in the regular season, answered in the third set Saturday by streaking to a 6-2 win to capture the match.
Haverford, seventh in the Atlantic South team rankings, earns its way into the conference tournament final for the third consecutive spring.