Men’s tennis falls to reigning national champions
On Friday the men’s tennis team won its fifth meet, 7-2 against Sioux Falls (Minn.) but fell 1-8 to Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.) Saturday morning.
“(Friday’s meet) went really well,” Coach Tom Gillman said. “I was pleased, I thought our teamwork was paid off.”
On Friday, the Blugolds faced three super -tiebreak matches, of which the Blugolds won two. The victories of 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 and 6-3, 1-6 and 10-7 belonged to freshmen Aaron Johnson and Mike Olson, taking No.5 and No.6 in singles, respectively. At No.2 and No.3 were sophomores Phil Loprinzi and Kevin Fawcett, who both won in straight sets; Loprinzi in 7-6, 6-2 and Fawcett with 7-5, 7-5.
“I thought we did a really good job of showing up and being ready to play” freshman Brett Burleigh said.
The Blugolds won all three double matches. Loprinzi and junior Steve Lantz won 8-5, placing themselves at No.1. Fawcett and Olson won 8-6, while senior C.J. Rose and Johnson won 9-8, taking No.2 and No.3, respectively.
“Our team played really well,” Fawcett said. “It was a competitive match and we rose to the challenge.”
Gillman agreed with Fawcett and said that he was pleased to see how well they competed.
“We showed a lot of persistence,” Gillman said.
The Blugolds were back in the courts Saturday morning to face Gustavus, where the men’s tennis team fell 1-8.
Gillman said that Gustavus just won nationals, and that their national ranking was probably No.1 in the country right now.
“That’s a very tough team,” Gillman said. “So sometimes the player can go out, and try to do all the right things, play as hard as they can but playing against some pretty good players that’s the bottom line.”
The men lost in all their singles matches in straight sets. Fawcett was the only one who had a close match. On the first set he fell 7-5, but later fell 6-1 on the second set. The other Blugolds’ single matches were not as close.
“They have a good team,” Fawcett said. “But I thought we played fairly well against them. It was a competitive match. It was a good learning experience, help the team to continue to grow and continue to improve.”
Burleigh agreed and said they played a pretty good team, but that they were happy of how they played.
“(The team) played the best they could, and (we) just lost to a better team.” Burleigh said.
The only victory the Blugolds had against Gustavus was in doubles, where Rose and Johnson were able to win 8-6 in a close match. This victory kept the duo undefeated this season, giving them a 6-0 record.
“C.J Rose had a great weekend,” Gillman said. “He won all his matches and demonstrated a lot of leadership, so we were happy about that.”
Two weeks from now, the Blugolds will be facing six meets at Hilton Head, South Carolina, beginning the Sunday of spring break. The meet runs March 16 to 20.
“I think we got exactly what we need this weekend,” Gillman said. “Our team has been doing very well, and we just need competition that’s going to help us down the road.”