BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College men's tennis team is one match away from its second straight appearance in the ODAC championship match.
Saturday, the Eagles will meet Emory & Henry in one of the ODAC semifinal matches. The winner advances to the title match where it's likely opponent will be perennial conference power Washington and Lee. Undefeated W&L meets the host team, Virginia Wesleyan College, in Saturday's other semifinal.
The Eagles, seeded No. 2 for the tournament, expect a tough match with No. 3 Emory & Henry. The Eagles defeated E&H, 8-1, in a late-season battle for second place in the ODAC standings, but the final score was not a true indicator of how close the match was.
Bridgewater took control early with victories in all three doubles matches. Brandon Larsen and Evan Stack won at No. 1 doubles in the closest match, 9-8. Christian Lynn and Mike Cable took an 8-5 win at No. 2 while Peter Hawkins and Sam Churchill won 8-4 at No. 3 doubles.
Four of the six singles matches went to three sets.
Larson had the easiest time as he took a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2. Churchill also won in straight sets at No. 6, winning 6-4, 6-4.
Hawkins lost the first set to James Keighley, 4-6, at No. 1 singles, but rebounded to dominate the next two sets 6-0, 6-1.
Stack also lost his first set to Matt Nelson 3-6, but responded to control play in the next two sets 6-1, 6-2.
Lynn at No. 4 and Cable at No. 5 also won in split sets. Both matches were decided by playing a tiebreaker for the third set with Lynn and Cable both emerging victorious.
Bridgewater and E&H will play Saturday morning at 11. The championship match is set for Sunday morning at 10. Both matches will played at Virginia Wesleyan's courts.