MORAGA, Calif. -- In a match that lasted over five hours and saw two teams battling to the very end, the Saint Mary's men's tennis team suffered a tough 4-3 defeat at the hands of visiting Pacific on Sunday.
Saint Mary's (2-4) earned the first point of the day with wins at No. 2 and 3 doubles.
Seif El Sherbini and Thomas Hunt paired at No. 3 to earn a 8-4 win, getting the day started right. Shortly thereafter, Tuomas Manner and Samuel Bloore scored an 8-6 win over Ben Mirkin and Denis Stolyarov, giving the Gaels the opening point.
Pacific took the lead quickly once singles began. Wins at No. 5, 6 and 3 singles put the Tigers up 3-1 with three matches still on court.
The Gaels wouldn't go away quietly. El Sherbini pulled out a big win at No. 4 singles, defeating Alex Hamilton 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to get SMC a bit closer.
Next to score was Jesse Kiuru at No. 1 singles. In another intense three-set affair, Kiuru rallied from a set down to defeat Alex Golding 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
That left Manner and Sem Verbeek on court two to determine a winner. Manner got off to a good start, winning the first set 6-3.
Verbeek rallied, taking the second set 6-4. The battle continued into the third set, and needed a tiebreaker to decide the match. Verbeek emerged the winner, taking the tiebreak 7-4 to win the third set 7-6 and give Pacific the victory.
"It was a bellweather match for us because they have some good results," Saint Mary's coach Michael Wayman said. "I thought it could have gone 4-3 either way."
Saint Mary's returns to the court next Sunday when it hosts UC Davis at noon.