Apr 10, 2013
Ronald Reagan was President, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" ruled the charts, and Bears Head Coach Pete Smith was an 8th grader in his hometown of Haddonfield, New Jersey. The year was 1983.
The Ursinus College Men's tennis team defeated Washington College that season, 8-1. In the thirty years since, Washington had won every meeting with the Bears, nabbing two national championships along the way. But that streak came to an abrupt halt Wednesday, as the Bears went on the road and stunned the Shoreman, 5-4.
"This certainly was a special day," said Smith, in his sixth season as head coach. "The chance to beat a program like Washington does not come around very often. The guys have been working really hard, and this was a total team effort. We got at least one point from everyone who played today, and that is team tennis."
Ursinus (9-5, 2-3 CC) started off slowly in doubles, as all three doubles teams faced early deficits.
The third doubles tandem of junior Dylan Marsh and freshman Tyler Arsenault got the comeback started as they rallied from a 4-0 hole to come back and defeat the Washington team of Joel Novick and Andy Pearson, 8-6.
"Dylan really took charge in that match, and his experience showed," Smith said. "He is a junior now, and he has played in a lot of big matches. It looked like we were in big trouble on all the doubles courts, and with that win, the entire momentum of the match changed."
Second doubles was down a break at 5-6 when they turned the tables in their match. Evan Lord and Alex Elbogen played their best tennis in the next three games, sweeping them all to secure an 8-6 victory and give Ursinus a 2-0 lead.
In the first doubles match, Evan Stutchin and Logan Metcalf-Kelly were down 5-1 before a furious rally gave them an 8-7 lead. But Washington's first doubles team was able to recover and eventually won, 9-8 (7-3). But after doubles, the Bears still had a 2-1 lead.
In singles play, Arsenault gave Ursinus a 3-1 lead as his opponent retired in the first set due to injury. The Shoremen wouldn't go away though, as they secured wins at second and fourth singles, bringing the match to a 3-3 deadlock.
The Bears then grabbed a 4-3 lead as Evan Stutchin turned in a dominating performance at first singles, winning 6-3, 6-1. Stutchin upped his record to 13-5 on the season, including 11-2 in dual matches.
"I've kind of run out of ways to describe 'Stutch'," Smith remarked. "He is just a rock at first singles. He has been clutch for us time and time again all season."
Needing one more singles win to clinch the match, Logan Metcalf-Kelly provided yet another rally for the Bears. Trailing 4-5 and love-40 in the first set, Metcalf-Kelly was able to fight off those three set points and go on a huge run to give the Bears the victory. He went on to win 9 of the final 10 games in a 7-5, 6-1 win. After a 30 year drought, Ursinus men's tennis had finally managed to knock off Washington College.
The Bears are right back on the courts on Thursday, when they host Alvernia at home at 3:30 pm.