VIRGINIA BEACH -- Straight set victories in singles highlighted a 2-0 weekend for Virginia Wesleyan College's regionally ranked men's tennis team.
The Marlins, currently No. 19 in the Atlantic South region, improved their overall record to 8-3 with a 9-0 victory over Division I's University of Maryland Eastern Shore and an 8-1 decision over Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) foe Randolph College.
VWC's win over Randolph took place at the Centre Court Indoor Racquet Club in Newport News due to inclement weather. The change of venue did little to distract the Marlins, who turned in solid singles play, highlighted by a 6-0, 6-0 win by sophomoreTyler Chang (Hvre de Grace, Md./Tome School) at the No. 5 flight against Dan Phung (Hanoi, Vietnam/International). It was the fourth straight win for Chang and his eighth in the last nine matches as he improved to 8-2 overall.
Rookie Kenny Downing (Washington, D.C./Home schooled) extended a winning streak to five in row with wins over UMES' Mohin Uddin (Forestville, Md./Central) and Randolph's JT von Seggern (McLean, Va./Langley). Downing did not give up a point to Uddin and won a thriller against Seggern, 6-1, 7-6. Both victories were at the No. 2 flight for Downing, who is now 8-2 overall.
Senior Graham Wilson (Newport News/Menchville) improved to 8-2 at the No. 1 flight with two impressive wins. He shut out UMES' Kijontray McClay (San Diego, Calif./Abraham Lincoln) 6-0, 6-0, and swept set against Randolph's Daniil Lyalko (Reisterstown, Md./Park School of Baltimore), 6-2, 6-0.
Wilson and Downing also combined efforts for a pair of doubles victories at the No. 1 flight to improve to7-3, including an 8-0 decision over UMES' McClay and Uddin. The Marlins won two of three doubles matches against Randolph, highlighted by an 8-2 decision at No. 3 by rookie Brendan Kelleher (Baltimore, Md./Towson) and sophomore Drew Tomajczyk (Chesterfield/Home schooled).
"We returned very well in doubles today," said VWC Tennis Director Darryl Cummings. "In each of our doubles matches we were able to break serve more than our opponents held serve."
Virginia Wesleyan's women picked up their second win of the season with a 9-0 win over University of Maryland Eastern Shore, but dropped an 8-1 ODAC decision to Randolph.
Hannah Parent (Port Tabacco, Md./Indian Head Henry E. Lackey) and Marissa Cifuentes (Virginia Beach/Bayside) both recorded 6-0, 6-0 wins against UMES, at the No. 2 and No. 3 flights, respectively.
Cifuentes emerged as VWC's lone winner against Randolph, posting a 6-1, 6-3 decision at the No. 3 spot against Heather Parra (Wilmington, N.C./Eugene Ashley). Cifuentes improved her season singles record to 6-3.
"Today our new volunteer coach Randy Ricker started with our program," said Cummings. "It was great to get his feedback and he is very motivated to provide individual workouts to our players. His commitment will provide an opportunity for our players to improve at a faster rate."
The VWC teams return to competition on Monday, March 31, hosting Maryland's Goucher College at 3 p.m. at the Everett Tennis Center.