LOS ANGELES — NCAA Division I transfer Josh Dancu (Naples, Fla.) proved that the Tigers have a legitimate top-dog with an impressive win at No. 1 singles, Stephen Perkins (Seattle) grinded out a victory over a ranked opponent at the No. 2 spot and Jamie Grossman (Tiburon) won the match-of-the-day at No. 5.
But the Occidental College men's tennis team was a little overmatched in the three doubles matches and needed a bit more depth at singles in a 6-3 loss to No. 23 Mary Washington on Sunday.
"We competed well against a very good team," Occidental coach Brian Newhall said. "Winning at No. 1-2 and 5 singles is a major step forward for our program as we try to break into the elite group of NCAA Division III teams."
Oxy fell behind 3-0 right of the gate after a well-coached Mary Washington team looked sharp in all three doubles competitions.
Then Perkins and Dancu got rolling.
Dancu, a sophomore from DePaul University, defeated Tyler Carey 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
Perkins, known for his competitive fire and willingness to put balls in play to make his opponents beat him, knocked off the Atlantic South's No. 15-ranked player Evan Charles 6-3, 6-4.
Grossman followed their lead at the No. 5 spot. He had his back against the ropes against David Lunding-Johansson after losing the first set. Then he rallied, after trailing 5-2 in the next set, to win the most exciting match of the day 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
But Mary Washington showed why it's earned a No. 6 ranking in the Atlantic South, picking up wins at No. 3, 4 and 6 singles to clinch the marathon competition that took nearly five hours to complete on campus.
Jordan Brown (San Diego) and Kevin Siebs (Houston, Texas) looked like they were in good shape at No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively. But each lost tough first-set tiebreakers and Mary Washington capitalized on the momentum to take each match.
Oxy faces perennial NCAA tournament participant Sewannee College at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps this Friday at 3:15 p.m.
"We're excited to challenge another tough opponent," Newhall said.