GLENSIDE, Pa. (May 15, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy tennis team captured the 2016 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship on Sunday with its 5-3 victory over Landmark Conference rival and top-seeded Moravian College at Arcadia University.
The contest was a rematch of the 2015 ECAC title match, in which the Mariners lost to the Greyhounds. With the win, USMMA ends the 2015-16 season on a four-match winning streak with an overall record of 9-5, while Moravian closes out the year with a 13-7 record.
Merchant Marine took a 2-1 lead in the match after doubles victories at #2 and #3. The Mariners' top flight of sophomore Jake McDonough (Wilmington, N.C.) and Daniel Zakrevski (Queens, N.Y.) dropped its match against the Greyhounds' Matt Tuorto and John Wylie, 8-4, but the #2 duo for USMMA, senior Josh Levitas (Huntingtown, Md.) and freshmen Brandon Deeter (Truckee, Calif.), and the #3 team of juniors Geri Villan (Yonkers, N.Y.) and Jordan Kendall (Winter Haven, Fla.) earned 8-6 and 8-3 victories, respectively.
In singles action, straight-set wins by Villan – 6-1, 6-0 at #5 – and Zakrevski – 6-2, 6-4 at #2 – put the Mariners on the brink of the championship. The matches at #3 and #4 were decided in favor of Moravian, but McDonough clinched the title with a three-set win at #1 – 6-0, 5-7, 6-3.
The #6 singles battle between Kendall and the Greyhounds' Peter Demyan was suspended once the match was clinched after the two competitors traded wins over the first two sets and Smith was up in the final set, 4-3.
This was Academy's first ECAC Tournament Championship since 1991 when both the men's basketball team and the men's soccer team won the Metro Region Tourneys. The USMMA football program also won the 1992, 1996 and 1997 ECAC Southwest Region Bowl Games.
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