FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- There was strength in doubles for Virginia Wesleyan College in the 2012 ITA Southeast Regional Championship hosted by the University of Mary Washington.
Virginia Wesleyan entered its largest contingent of players in program history in the prestigious annual event and drew some attention with a freshman-dominated team. The Marlins fared best in doubles, highlighted by a drive to semifinals by rookies Adam Owen (Bellevue, Wash./Newport) and Drew Tomajczyk (Chesterfield, Va./Home schooled).
The Marlins duo opened competition in the B3 Doubles flight with an impressive 8-3 win over Moravian College's Brian Welsko (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth) and C.J. Widdifield (Westerly, R.I./Westerly). In quarterfinal action Owen and Tomajczyk won a thriller, 9-8(4) over Hampden-Sydney College's senior Watt Mountcastle (Richmond/Freeman) and David Dodson (Blacksburg/Cave Spring). The VWC pair was stopped in semifinal action in another close match, 8-6, won by Kyle Feeley (Baltimore, Md./Mt. St. Joseph) and John Feighner (Laurel, Md./Atholton).
VWC was represented in the Championship Flight by rookies Keegan Barkley (Madison, Miss./Madison Central) andGraham Wilson (Newport News/Menchville) who dropped an 8-2 decision to Bridgewater College's Brandon Larsen (Woodbridge/Woodbridge) and Evan Stack (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb) in the opener, but battled back impressively in the consolation round. They began with an 8-3 win over Johns Hopkins University's Nick Garcia (Miami, Fla./Ferguson) and Noah Joachim (Sparta, N.J./Blair) and outlasted Salisbury's Daniel Albers (Denville, N.J./Morris Knolls), the Capital Athletic Conference's Co-Rookie of the Year, and Eric Spangler (Clinton, Md.) in a 9-8(6) thriller in the quarterfinals. The VWC duo fell in semifinals however, 8-5 to Mary Washington's Alex Blakhin (Moscow, Russia/Saddlebrook Prep, Fla.), the 2012 CAC Player of the Year and 2011 VaSID College Division Rookie of the Year, and David Lunding-Johannson (Stockholm, Sweden/Djursholm).
In B2 Doubles, rookies Spencer Bullock (Lorton, Va./South County) and Tyler Chang (Hvre de Grace, Md./Tome School) fell 9-7 to Christopher Newport University's Cole Fairbanks (Williamsburg/Lafayette) and Lloyd Luck (Charlottesville/Covenant), but advanced to semifinals in the consolation rounds. The Marlins posted an 8-2 win over Lycoming College's senior duo Cody Heffner (Williamsport, Pa./Muncy) and Jason Mifsud (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville Area), but dropped a tough 8-6 decision to Grove City College's Jonathan Graber (Atglen, Pa./Octorara) and Anthony Rosselli (Poland, Ohio/Poland Seminary) in the semis.
In singles play, Wilson produced the highlight effort for the Marlins. Competing in the Championship Flight, he opened with a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Carnegie Mellon University's ninth-seeded Christian Heaney-Secord (Westwood, Mass./Westwood). Wilson bounced back in consolation play with an 8-2 victory over Shenandoah University's senior Michael Milanov (Winchester/Handley). Wilson outlasted Washington and Lee University's Thomas Johnson (Spartansburg, S.C./Christ Church Episcopal) 6-3, 7-6(5) in the round of 16, but fell 6-0, 6-3 to JHU's Garcia in the quarters.
Virgiia Wesleyan will close out the fall portion of its 2012-13 schedule on Saturday, Oct. 6, with a split squad. The Marlins will compete in the Hampton Roads Invitational, hosted by Old Dominion University, and in the Methodist Invitational in Fayetteville, N.C.