FALMOUTH, Maine – Victimized by a short squad on Friday evening, the Castleton University men's tennis team dropped a nonconference dual 5-4 to the University of Southern Maine at the Woodlands Club.
Castleton falls to 3-2 – dropping its second consecutive match after starting 3-0 – while Southern Maine earns its first win of the year and improves to 1-1.
Quentin Barthe continued to do what he has done through the early part of the season for the Spartans. Improving to 5-0 in singles and doubles, Barthe set the tone early. Joined by partner Jared Wheeler, the duo rolled in Castleton's lone win at doubles.
During singles, Barthe made quick work of his opponent, surrendering a single game. The senior secured three breaks in the first set to put up a bagel and then carried the momentum through to a 6-0, 6-1 win.
In the third flight, Nathan Hinson captured a fairly routine 6-1, 6-3 victory to put Castleton in the lead at the time. After Southern Maine was able to bring the score even at 3-3, Wheeler again put the Spartans on top.
Needing three sets, Wheeler persevered after dropping a competitive opener, 6-3. Extending the second set by a couple of games, he secured the break at the right time to collect the set and force a decider. In the super-tiebreak formatted final set, Wheeler reeled off several games in a row and coasted to a 10-4 final.
Despite giving its best effort, the Spartans dropped two points during Friday's match due to a lack of available bodies. Surrendering third doubles and sixth singles to forfeits, Castleton eventually dropped the match.
Men's tennis returns to action at 11 a.m. on Saturday as the team continues its Maine road trip with their first conference match of the season against Thomas College.
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