COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - This was one streak that the Ursinus College Men's Tennis Team wanted to end.
After going 0-for-26 in the previous men's tennis meetings with Dickinson, the Bears finally broke through and beat the Red Devils 5-4 on a sun-drenched day at the Ace Bailey Courts.
"I am so proud of this team," coach Pete Smith said. "That took a lot of guts. To be down 4-1 and come back to win the final four singles matches, well you just don't see that too often. Dickinson is a tough team, and to beat them like this for the first time ever, it is a great day for our program."
Dickinson got a quick start in doubles, winning on the first and third courts by counts of 8-3 and 8-2. With the Bears (7-3, 1-1 CC) in desperate need of a win, juniors Evan Lord and Logan Metcalf-Kelly delivered with a clutch 8-6 victory.
"The win at second doubles by Evan and Logan was so key," remarked Smith. "We lose that match and go down 3-0, it would have made a comeback almost impossible. That win was huge."
Dickinson continued to apply the pressure, as they won at third and fifth singles in straight sets. Down 4-1, the Bears went to work on the remaining four courts.
First, Metcalf-Kelly turned in a scintillating performance at sixth singles, downing Dixon Blue 6-1, 6-1. Then, Evan Stutchin (first) and Evan Lord (second) recorded wins within seconds of each other to bring the Bears even at 4-4. Lord defeated Ari Blask 6-0, 7-6 (7-5), while Stutchin delivered a flawless perfomance in a 6-2, 6-1 victory over first team All-Centennial Conference player Will Golinkin.
With all eyes turned to the fourth singles tilt, Ursinus freshman Tyler Arsenault and Dickinson freshman Joey Frank traded bombs in a back and forth match. After Arsenault won the first set 6-3, Frank rebounded to win the second set 6-1. With both teams and all the fans cheering each point on, the players went to a third and deciding set.
After falling behind 2-1, Arsenault turned on the jets to take 4 straight games and assume a 5-2 lead. Not one to go away quietly, Frank fought off five match points to bring the match back to 5-4. But Arsenault was able to take the final game and prevail 6-4, and Ursinus finally had a win over Dickinson.
The Bears take the court next on Tuesday, when they host regionally ranked F & M and home at 3:30 pm.