After entering the Atlantic 10 tournament on a three-match winning streak, the top-seeded GW men’s tennis team fell 4-3 to Xavier in the championship match, marking the third-straight year they entered the tournament as the top seed and failed to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship.
The Colonials reached the championship round by beating Richmond 4-1 Friday and Temple 4-1 Saturday, where they met Xavier.
GW opened Saturday’s championship match against the two-time defending champions with a doubles win from juniors Chris Kushma and Erik Hannah, but dropped the other two doubles matches to lose the lone doubles point.
GW and Xavier split the remaining six singles matches. Hannah, Kushma and sophomore Ugur Atalay won for the Colonials, with Kushma extending his win streak to nine-straight matches. Sophomores Andy Erickson, Richard Blumenfeld and junior Yan Levinski were defeated by Xavier in the singles matches. Levinski, who played at No. 4 singles, forced a third set in his singles match, ultimately falling to Xavier’s Bobby Deye in the match that decided the championship.
“Everybody left everything on the court and we came so close to winning,” Kushma said. “I am very proud of everyone and we’ll just have to wait to next year to achieve our goal.”
Despite the loss, the Colonials’ season is not over. GW will face UMBC in a rescheduled match April 24th at 2 p.m. in Baltimore, Md.