VIRGINIA BEACH -- Confidence can be very contagious.
It was the kind of contagousness Virginia Wesleyan College's Tennis Director Darryl Cummings was glad to see Friday, as it spread from No. 1 all the way through the lineup to help the Marlins to an impressive 7-2 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) win over Guilford College's Quakers at the Everett Tennis Center.
Graham Wilson (Newport News/Menchville), ranked No. 17 in singles in the South Atlantic region, was the catalyst as he set the tone with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Turner Votipka (Nashville, NC./Nash Central). Wilson made it a 2-0 day, teaming with rookie Kenny Downing to win 8-5 at No. 1 doubles over Erik Melier (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) and Votipka.
"Graham was outstanding today," said Cummings. "It really gives the team confidence when the No. 1 player plays as well as Graham did today. We could see the confidence becoming contagious amongst the rest of the team. Tyler Chang also played some outstanding singles and doubles today. The team is doing a great job growing from each competitive opportunity."
Chang (Hvre de Grace, Md./Tome School) was one of four Marlins to sweep singles and doubles competitions. He defeated Levin Bruff (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) 6-0, 6-2 at No. 5 singles and teamed with Spencer Bullock (Lorton/South County) for an 8-5 win at No. 3 doubles over Aaron Smedley (West Chicago, Ill./Barlett) and Cox (Chapel Hill, N.C./Northwood).
The Marlins finished 5-1 in singles, helped by Downing (Washington, D.C.) rallying from a 7-5 first set loss to defeat Meiles, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2. Bullock won at No. 4, 7-5, 6-2 over Smedley, and sophomore Tyler Searcy (Virginia Beach/Frank W. Cox) won 7-5, 1-0 after falling to Blake Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) 6-3 in the opening set.
Virginia Wesleyan (1-1) returns to play on Saturday, March 8, hosting Randolph-Macon College in an ODAC match beginning at 11:30 a.m. The Marlins will also host Penn St.-Abington at 3 p.m.
VIRGINIA WESLEYAN 7 GUILFORD 2
1.Graham Wilson (VWC) d. Turner Votipka (GC) 6-1,6-0
2.Kenny Downing (VWC) d. Eric Meiles (GC) 5-7,6-1,6-1
3.Trevor Cox (GC) d. Drew Tomajczyk (VWC) 7-5,6-4
4.Spencer Bullock (VWC) d. Aaron Smedley 7-5,6-2
5. Tyler Chang (VWC) d. Levi Bruff (GC) 6-0,6-2
6. Tyler Searcy (VWC) d. Blake Brown (GC) 3-6,7-5,1-0
1.Wilson/Downing (VWC) d. Votipka/Meiles (GC) 8-5
2.Bullock/Chang (VWC) d. Smedley/Cox (GC) 8-5
3.Church/Bruff (GC) d. Tomajczyk/Graves (VWC) 8-6