Fredericksburg, VA. – The St. Mary’s College of Maryland men’s tennis team earned their first NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Tournament victory this Friday, defeating Penn State Behrend 5-1 in the first round. This win marked the first NCAA tournament win in program history.

Credit: St. Mary's College of Maryland

How It Happened:


  • The Seahawks claimed a 2-1 advantage following the doubles session.
  • Junior captain Stephen Alam (Ellicott City, Md./Marriotts Ridge) and sophomore Kier Nacua (La Plata, Md./La Plata) dropped their match in the No. 1 spot, falling 8-6 to the Nittany Lions
  • The first team point came in the second match, as the duo of senior captain Sam Sheats (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) and first-year Tyler VanValkenburg (Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax) collected a dominant 8-1 win over Evan Dean and Alex Graeca.  
  • Sophomores Nick Rohr (Fairfax County, Va./Robinson) and Keawe Shepherd Johnson (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair) picked up the second team point with an 8-1 win in the third spot, dropping Belden Tuttle and Mathew Mccullough of Penn State Behrend. 


  • Keawe Shepherd Johnson got the Seahawks one step closer to the five-point decision mark with a convincing 6-0, 6-0 match over Dean in the fifth spot.
  • Sheets put together another piece of the puzzle when he, too took care of business 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 3 spot to move St. Mary’s within striking distance of closing out the day.
  • The Seahawks knew that they would advance when Rohr put together a fabulous 6-1, 6-1 win in the No. 3 singles spot.

Up Next for the Seahawks

  • May 14 – NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championships Second Round – Trinity (TX)

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