From the HCC sports desk:
WEST WINDSOR, N.J.—The rematch between the Harford men’s tennis team and Mercer played out almost exactly like the first meeting of the two teams this season, with Harford coming out the victor, 7-2. The Fighting Owls (4-3) traveled to West Windsor, N.J. on Monday and downed the Vikings (1-8), dropping only the No. 3 doubles and No. 5 singles matches.
The match was nearly identical to the April 3 meeting, save for a few personnel changes, the singles loss coming in the No. 5 rather than No. 1 slot and the fact that the singles matches were the standard, best-of-three, format, as opposed to pro sets.
Freshmen Josh Meier (Belcamp, Md./Home School) and Josh Hicks (Fallston, Md./Home School) were once again victorious, by a score of 8-4, but this time Daisuke Katsumata teamed with David Wilkes rather than Matt Romano.
Romano would see action with Brendan Belluscio as they fell to sophomore Josh Hays (Belcamp, Md./Harford Tech) and freshman Chris Blackwell (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air/RPI), 8-2 and Jason Ciaccio and Neil Brower would once again win the No. 3 match, but would take on the team of freshman Steve Heagy (Fallston, Md./Fallston) and sophomore Brian McKeldin (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright), from which they narrowly escaped defeat, 8-6.
The Vikings were much more competitive in the singles matches this time around, forcing two matches to three sets at Nos. 2 and 6 singles, while Heagy would force a third set for Harford in the No. 5 slot, before falling to Romano.
Hicks avenged his previous loss to Katsumata with a 6-4, 6-1 decision at No.1 singles, while Hays downed Ciaccio, 6-3, 6-3, in the No. 3 spot and Blackwell took care of Belluscio, 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles.
Meier blanked Wilkes, six games to none in the first set of the No. 2 match, but Wilkes would rebound with a 6-1 decision in the second set to force a third, which Meier handily won, 6-1.
Wade would see a tough first set against Brower in the No. 6 spot, which he won 7-6, with a 7-3 tiebreak before the Viking earned a 6-2 decision in the second set. Wade would end up on the right side of a 6-3 third set score on the way to the match win.
Heagy would take a 6-3 first set advantage at No. 5 singles before Romano answered with a 6-3 second set win of his own, and edged Heagy, 6-4 in the third set to win the match.
The Fighting Owls return to action on Wednesday when they host Montgomery College-Rockville in a rematch at Harford slated for 3:30 p.m.