Men's Tennis: Norwich drops 5-4 heart breaker to Johnson & Wales in GNAC opener

Dylan Ackerman western new england men's tennis action

NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Norwich University men's tennis team opened Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play with a hard-fought 5-4 loss to Johnson & Wales on Saturday afternoon in Shapiro Field House.

Norwich (5-6, 0-1 GNAC North) fought tooth and nail with Johnson & Wales in search of its first win vs. the Wildcats in nearly a decade. However, JWU (4-3, 1-0 GNAC North) ultimately prevailed thanks to taking two of the three doubles matches.

The third doubles team of Abbie Barker (Warren, Vt.) and Timothy Santy (San Antonio, Texas) stayed hot with an 8-5 victory to get the Cadets a point in doubles after they dropped the No. 1 and No. 2 pairings in close matches.

Norwich won three of the singles matches, including a big victory by junior Dylan Ackerman (Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands) at No. 1 singles over Will Lyons by scores of 6-4, 7-6.

Sophomore Noah Stillman (Danbury, Conn.) and junior Timothy Birnbaum (Mahwah, N.J.) won No. 5 and No. 6 singles respectively. Stillman beat Brandon Case 6-1, 3-6, 11-9 and Birnbaum topped Robert Michalofsky 6-4, 6-3. 

Norwich is next in action on Thursday, March 28 at 4:30 p.m. when the Cadets travel to NVU-Johnson to take on the Badgers at Top Notch Resort.