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Marlins Slip Past Eagles, 5-4

Emmett Johnson returns a shot for the Eagles.

VIRGINIA BEACH,, Va. - After more than four hours of play, Virginia Wesleyan edged Bridgewater College, 5-4, in the quarterfinals of the ODAC men's tennis tournament.

The last match on the court was the No. 5 singles duel where Bridgewater's Nathaniel Horner went the distance with the Marlins' Anthony Wilson. Wilson won the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6, and then Horner evened the match by taking the second set in a tiebreaker. The third and deciding set also went to a tiebreaker with Wilson prevailing in the tiebreak 7-3 to clinch the team victory for the Marlins.

Virginia Wesleyan got off to a quick start with wins at the top two doubles flights. At the No. 1 slot, Nick Gunther and Mitchell Perry defeated Bridgeater's Joe Dillenbeck and Josh Rodgers 8-3. Paull Gladstone and Mike Portera defeated Freddie Roberts and Horner 8-4 at No. 2 doubles. Bridgewater salvaged a point at No. 3 when Sonet Gandhi and Emmett Johnson turned back Andreas Combos and Wilson.

Bridgewater controlled play at the top of the singles ladder, winning the first three flights. Dillenbeck edged Gladstone 7-5, 7-5 to win at No. 1 while Rodgers rolled to a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2 over Combos. Johnson held off Gunther in a close match at No. 3, winning 7-5, 6-4.

The Marlins won the next three flights with two of the matches going three sets. Portera defeated Gandhi 6-1, 6-1 to win at No. 6 and Perry rallied for the win at No. 4 over Roberts. Roberts took the first set 7-5, but Perry rallied to win the next two sets 6-1, 6-1 setting the stage for Wilson dramatic victory at No. 5.

Bridgewater finishes the 2018 season with a 9-9 overall record.