(Posted April 19, 2005)

Susquehanna 4, Juniata 3

Huntingdon, Pa.? Coming into its regular-season finale against Susquehanna Tuesday afternoon, the Juniata College men?s tennis team needed to win, and then get some help in order to earn the program?s first-ever Commonwealth Conference postseason bid. Unfortunately for the Eagles the victory itself would prove elusive as the Eagles dropped a tight 4-3 decision to the Crusaders. Juniata ends the season with a mark of 6-5 overall and 2-5 in the Commonwealth Conference, while Susquehanna improved to 2-9 on the year and 2-5 in conference play.

The match came down to the battle at the number-one singles position. After dropping the first set 7-6, Juniata?s Brandon Long (Lebanon/Lebanon) rallied to earn the second set 7-0, and then held a lead in the third set. But he couldn?t hang on as Steve Kane rallied to win the final set 6-4 and secure the match.

The visitors took an early 1-0 lead as they won two out of the three doubles matches to claim the doubles point. Juniata?s victory came at second doubles as Jonathan Cohen (Highland Regional/Hollywood, Fla.) and Tom Nelson (State College/State College) posted an 8-3 win. Each of the other two doubles pairs fell by 8-4 scores.

On the singles courts Juniata got wins at the third, fourth and fifth singles spots. Senior David Bullock (Central Bucks East/Jamison) posted a 6-2, 6-1 win at the third singles position in his final regular-season match. Cohen added a straight-set singles win at the fourth spot as he earned a 7-6, 6-1 victory. And Nelson was also a winner in singles as he breezed to a 6-1, 6-1 triumph.

Each of the other singles matches were highly competitive. Along with the three-set match at first singles, Brian Sykes (Gateway Regional/Woodburry Heights, N.J.) fell by 7-6, 7-5 scores at second singles and Romain Plessis (Catholic University of Lille/Lyon, France) suffered a 7-6, 7-6 set-back at the sixth singles spot.

Juniata closes the year with six team victories, which doubled the previous team high for wins in a season since Juniata reinstated men?s tennis as a varsity sport in 2002.

The Eagles will send singles and doubles competitors to the conference individual and doubles championships which will be held April 30-May 1.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.