PHILADELPHIA – The Bryn Athyn College men's tennis team had its 2019 season come to a close with a 5-3 loss to Clarks Summit University in the Colonial States Athletic Conference Tournament championship match Friday afternoon in the Legacy Youth Tennis Education Center.
Bryn Athyn ends the season with a 5-9 overall. Clarks Summit goes to 9-2 and with the victory, the Defenders earn the CSAC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Trailing 1-0 after the Clarks Summit No. 1 doubles team defeated Bryn Athyn's Nikita Smirnov and Vojtech Luza, the Lions' No. 3 tandem of Isaac Anderson and Tanner Schroeder leveled the match at one by knocking off Eric Bixby and Dennis Gray, 8-4.
Clarks Summit extended its lead to 4-1 by claiming singles victory at the No. 2 and No. 3 flights.
On the brink of elimination, Bryn Athyn fought back to close the gap to 4-3. Schroeder picked up his second point of the afternoon after a closely-contested straight-set victory at No. 6 over Gray, 7-5, 7-6 (7-1). In an equally as close match, Elder edged out Johansen in the No. 4 match, 7-6 (9-7), 7-5.
The Defenders would claim the conference title with a win at No. 1 singles, however, Smirnov made Evan Michel earn the clinching point. After dropping the opening set 6-3, Smirnov fought back to win set two 6-3. In the final set, Smirnov fell behind 5-1 but rallied to cut the deficit to 5-4. Michel closed out the match in the next game to win the final set 6-4.
The final match, at No.5 singles between Cole Lambertus and Bibxy went even at one-set all and 2-2 in the final set.