NORTON, Mass. - Wheaton College men's tennis senior Gregory Poulin (Boxboro, Mass./Home Schooled) proved to be the difference following his dramatic 7-5, 7-6 victory in the third singles position Saturday against Babson College, as the Lyons edged the visiting Beavers by a 5-4 count during each team's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener on the Clark Tennis Courts.
Winning for the third straight time, Wheaton improved to 4-4 overall, while Babson fell to 4-7, including a 1-7 mark on the road.
After winning two of three doubles matches, the hosts needed to at least split their six singles contests. Poulin and freshman Dan Sharon (Santa Monica, Calif./Brentwood School) surrendered just one game en route to an 8-1 doubles victory at two, while senior Harry Altman (Riverdale, N.Y./The Dwight School) and freshman Ned Terrace (Chappaqua, N.Y./Horace Greeley) won 8-5 at three.
In the top doubles spot, Beaver sophomore Simeon Human (Trelex, Switzerland/International School of Geneva) and freshman Mitchell Henry (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) notched an 8-3 win over Lyon senior Brian Krantz (Milford, Conn./Joseph A. Foran) and junior Neall Oliver (Portland, Maine/Deering).
In singles action, Oliver set the tone early, notching a 6-3, 6-2 victory in the top position, while freshman Dennis Scarpa (Cheshire, Conn./Xavier) cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 triumph at six.
Babson senior Austin Conti (Murray Hill, N.J./Pingry School) and juniors Nissim Cohen-Sabban (Chula Vista, Calif./Bonita Vista) and Danny Schneider (Littleton, Mass./Littleton) won in the second, fourth and fifth singles spots, respectively. At number three, Poulin notched a 12-10 tiebreaker score to squeak by Human.
The Lyons return to the courts this Wednesday for another conference match against host Springfield College at 4:00 p.m.