Bittner, Searcy win thrillers to help VWC sweep Washington

Bittner, Searcy win thrillers to help VWC sweep Washington

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Competing under the lights can be a thrill for any athlete in any sport.

On Monday that emotion was magnified for Virginia Wesleyan College rookie Tyler Searcy (Virginia Wesleyan/Frank W. Cox) and senior Stephanie Bittner (Westminster, Md./Francis Scott Key) playing at the No. 6 flight.

With the crowd at The Everett Center focused on their matches, the final competition of the showdown with Maryland's Washington College, Searcy and Bittner emerged with thrilling victories to lift Virginia Wesleyan to a pair of 5-4 victories.  Searcy capped the men's victory over a Washington team ranked No. 11 in the Atlantic South Region with a 6-3, 6-4 win over senior Andy Pearson (Flourtown, Pa./Springfield Township) and Bittner came back from a 6-0 first set loss to defeat junior Amy Stevens (Street, Md./North Harford) 6-1, 6-3.

"This is one of the most dramatic matches I have experienced in my coaching career," said VWC head men's and women's coach Tom Drabczyk. "There were momentum swings at every corner.  Our men and women showed great mental fortitude today. They deserve it, they worked for it."

The victory was the third in a row for the Marlin men, who are now 3-4 on the season.  The win for the women snapped a five-match losing streak and improved the Marlins to 2-5.

The final decisions of the day put the finishing touches on the victories, which produced one highlight after another. 

In the men's match, the No. 1 doubles team of rookies Graham Wilson (Newport News/Menchville) and Drew Tomajczyk (Chesterfield/Home schooled)continued their impressive play and remained undefeated. They bounced Vishnu Rajes (Yercaud, India/St. John's, Md.) and Marc Cywinski (Brisbane, Australia/Pendleton (Fla.) 8-5 to improve to 7-0. Wilson also remained undefeated in South Atlantic competition (6-0) with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Rajes at No. 1 singles.

Rookie Tyler Chang (Hvre de Grace, Md./Tome School)also remained unbeaten (3-0), taking a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 victory over Ryan Holtschneider (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) at No. 4. Chang and rookie partner Lawrence Hunter (Fredericksburg/Chancellor) posted a thrilling 8-6 win at No. 3 doubles over Joel Novick (Cape May Court House, N.J./Middle Township and Pearson. The Marlin duo is now 3-0.

In women's competition, rookies Sara Yousif (Waxhaw, N.C./Charlotte Manus Academy) and Tori Ryherd (El Paso, Texas/Loretto Academy) were two-time winners for the Marlins. 

Yousif emerged with the victory in an intense match at No. 1, coming back from a 6-3 first-set loss to April Weaver (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysbury).  Yousif squeezed out a 7-5 decision in the second set and won the match with a 6-4 final. On the next court over, Ryherd took control early and defeated Campbell McNichol (Mill Neck, N.Y./St. George's School) 6-4, 6-2.

Yousif and Ryherd combined skills at No. 1 doubles to bounce Kat Cohen (Springfield, Mass./Williston-Northampton School) and McNichol 8-4.

Rookie Mia Proctor (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) contributed to the VWC win with another thriller, as she emerged on top 7-6(2), 7-5 over Gyeyeon Kang (Seoung Nam Si, South Korea/Westhill (Conn.) at No. 4 singles.

Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Wednesday, March 13, taking on Shenandoah University in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference match beginning at 3 p.m. at the Everett Center

Position  Virginia Wesleyan College  Washington College (Maryland)  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  Graham Wilson  Vishnu Rajes VWC  6-2, 6-1
 #2 Singles  Drew Tomajczyk  Marc Cywinski Washington  7-6(2), 7-5
 #3 Singles  Spenser Bullock  Dan Boate Washington  3-6, 6-4, 6-2
 #4 Singles  Tyler Chang  Ryan Holtschneider VWC  6-3, 3-6, 6-0
 #5 Singles  Lawrence Hunter  Joel Novick Washington  6-0, 6-1
 #6 Singles  Tyler Searcy  Andy Pearson VWC  6-3, 6-4
 #1 Doubles  Graham Wilson 
 Drew Tomajczyk
 Vishnu Rajes 
 Marc Cywinski
VWC  8-5
 #2 Doubles  Spenser Bullock 
 Adam Owen
 Dan Boate 
 Ryan Holtschneider
Washington  8-4
 #3 Doubles  Lawrence Hunter 
 Tyler Chang
 Andy Pearson 
 Joel Novick


 Position  Virginia Wesleyan College  Washington College (Maryland)  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  Sara Yousif  April Weaver VWC  3-6, 7-5, 6-4
 #2 Singles  Victoria Ryherd  Campbell McNicol VWC  6-4, 6-2
 #3 Singles  Victoria Torres  Kat Cohen Washington  1-6, 6-4, 6-2
 #4 Singles  Mia Proctor  Gyeyeon Kang VWC  7-6(2)-7-5
 #5 Singles  Hannah Parent  Marielle McIntyre Washington  6-2, 6-0
 #6 Singles  Stephanie Bittner  Amy Stevens VWC  0-6, 6-1, 6-3
 #1 Doubles  Sara Yousif 
 Victoria Ryherd
 Campbell McNicol 
 Kat Cohen
VWC  8-4
 #2 Doubles  Victoria Torres 
 Mia Proctor
 April Weaver 
 Gyeyeon Kang
Washington  8-3
 #3 Doubles  Stephanie Bittner 
 Hannah Parent
 Amy Stevens 
 Marielle McIntyre
Washington  8-4