Williamsburg - The William and Mary men's tennis team upset CAA rival Old Dominion, 4-3, to open Senior Day on Saturday afternoon at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis. The Green and Gold used an overpowering doubles performance and received singles victories from senior Dominic Pagon, junior Richard Wardell and sophomore Sebastien Vidal to outdistance the Monarchs. The College capped the double dip with a 7-0 sweep of instate foe Norfolk State in the nightcap. During the day, W&M honored the senior duo of Pagon and Marwan Ramadan for their contributions to the Tribe program. W&M upped its season mark to 15-13, while ODU fell to 17-11 and Norfolk State dropped to 4-7.
"We have struggled as a team over the last few weeks, and I feel that a lesser team would have folded," head coach Peter Daub said. "It is a credit to these guys, the seniors and the leadership on this team that we were able to rebound. They believed in themselves and played as hard as they could. As a result, we were able to beat a top-notch team in Old Dominion. If we can get a few injuries healed over the next week, we have the opportunity to be a force in the CAA Tournament."
The Tribe dominated in doubles, winning all three positions to claim the initial point of the match. The Green and Gold's No. 2 pairing of Pagon and sophomore Varun Pandit downed ODU's Aleksandr Seleznev and Ben Marks, 8-3, getting the Tribe off to a good start. It marked the pair's first win together this season. Juneau and Vidal clinched the initial point of the contest with an 8-5 win over Tobias Fanselow and Matt Fawcett for their second straight triumph at the top doubles slot. The College's top tandem completed the regular season perfect in CAA play. Sophomore Ben Wirth and freshman Ilja Orre rounded out the Tribe sweep with their first win together at the No. 3 slot as the duo bounced Krzysztof Muzalewski and Yakov Diskin, 8-5.
Junior Richard Wardell made a triumphant return to the Green and Gold lineup, extending W&M's lead to 2-0 with a victory at the No. 5 singles position. After missing over a month of the season with injuries, Wardell bounced back to defeat Alex Funkhouser, 7-5, 6-2. Down a break at 4-3 in the first set, Wardell rallied to win four of the last five games to take the opening set. The Ft. Myers, Fla., native trailed 2-1 in the second set, but claimed the final five games to clinch his eighth singles win of the year.
Pagon pulled W&M within a single victory of the team triumph with a straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, win over Diskin at the No. 4 slot. The Kingston, Jamaica native trailed by a break at 3-2 in the opening set, but rallied to take the set by winning the final four games. Pagon broke Diskin to end the match, improving to 17-12 overall with a 6-4 win the second.
Vidal clinched the Green and Gold victory with a straight sets win at the No. 3 slot. The Tribe sophomore won for the ninth time in the last 10 matches, disposing of Fawcett, 6-2, 6-4. Vidal finished the CAA portion of the schedule undefeated.
In the night match against Norfolk State, W&M rolled to the doubles point, taking all three positions. For the second time on the day, the duo of Pagon and Pandit breezed to an 8-2 win over Arsenio Culver and Jonathan Sessom at the No. 2 slot. The Tribe pairing of redshirt freshman Kunal Pawa and Orre clinched the initial point of the contest with an 8-1 win over Roosevelt Cooper and Jahvair Mullings at the No. 3 slot. The Tribe's top team of Juneau and Vidal rounded out the W&M sweep with an 8-6 win over Miroslav Vlcek and Pet Krakora. The win pushed the pairs' doubles ledger to 19-12 on the season.
In singles action, Pandit made quick work of Cooper at the No. 4 spot, dropping only one game in a 6-0, 6-1 victory. The triumph was Pandit's fifth dual-match win of the season. Sophomore Ben Wirth pulled the Tribe within one victory over the team win with a 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Mullings. The win pushed Wirth's season mark to 6-6.
Orre clinched the W&M win with a straight sets win at the No. 3 slot. He tallied his 13th victory of the year, 6-1, 6-4, over Krakora. Pawa made it a clean sweep for the W&M rookies and doubles teammates with a 6-3, 6-4 victory. The redshirt freshman improved to a perfect 3-0 on the year.
The Tribe's top two singles players, Juneau and Vidal, rounded out the sweep for the Green and Gold. Juneau won a three-set affair at the top slot, coming back to defeat Vlcek, 3-6, 6-4, 10-4. The victory bumped Juneau's team-leading record to 22-13. Vidal on the other hand outlasted Culver at the No. 2 position, 7-5, 7-6 (4), for his 20th singles win of the year.
The College will look to contend for the Colonial Athletic Association Championship, beginning April 16-19 at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center in Norfolk, Va. The Green and Gold will find out its seed early in the week with the top six seeds receive first-round byes and will open play in the quarterfinals at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 17. The CAA Semifinals are schedule for 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 18, with the title match to follow on Sunday, April 19, at 10 a.m.
William and Mary 4, Old Dominion 3
No. 1 - #80 Aleksandr Seleznev (ODU) def. #111 Keziel Juneau (W&M) - 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 - Tobias Fanselow (ODU) def. Marwan Ramadan (W&M) - 5-7, 7-6, 11-9
No. 3 - Sebastien Vidal (W&M) def. Matt Fawcett (ODU) - 6-2, 6-4
No. 4 - Dominic Pagon (W&M) def. Yakov Diskin (ODU) - 6-3, 6-4
No. 5 - Richard Wardell (W&M) def. Alex Funkhouser (ODU) - 7-5, 6-2
No. 6 - Krzysztof Muzalewski (ODU) def. Ilja Orre (W&M) - 6-2, 7-6
Finishing Order: 5, 1, 4, 3*, 6, 2
No. 1 - Juneau/Vidal (W&M) def. Fanselow/Fawcett (ODU) - 8-5
No. 2 - Pagon/Pandit (W&M) def. Seleznev/Marks (ODU) - 8-3
No. 3 - Orre/Wirth (W&M) def. Muzalewski/Diskin (ODU) - 8-5
Finishing Order: 2, 1*, 3
William and Mary 7, Norfolk State 0
No. 1 - Keziel Juneau (W&M) def. Miroslav Vlcek (NSU) - 3-6, 6-4, 10-4
No. 2 - Sebastien Vidal (W&M) def. Arsenio Culver (NSU) - 7-5, 7-6 (4)
No. 3 - Ilja Orre (W&M) def. Petr Krakora (NSU) - 6-1, 6-4
No. 4 - Varun Pandit (W&M) def. Roosevelt Cooper (NSU) - 6-0, 6-1
No. 5 - Ben Wirth (W&M) def. Jahvair Mullings (NSU) - 6-1, 6-3
No. 6 - Kunal Pawa (W&M) def. Jonathan Sessom (NSU) - 6-3, 6-4
Finishing Order: 4, 5, 3*, 6, 1, 2
No. 1 - Juneau/Vidal (W&M) def. Krakora/Vlcek (NSU) - 8-6
No. 2 - Pagon/Pandit (W&M) def. Culver/Sessom (NSU) - 8-2
No. 3 - Pawa/Orre (W&M) def. Mullings/Cooper (NSU) - 8-1
Finishing Order: 2, 3*, 1