Men’s tennis win both Friday matches, fall to Warhawks Saturday
In the second to last meet of the regular season, the UW-Eau Claire men’s tennis team won both competitions Friday night but went on to lose Saturday afternoon.
The Blugolds beat UW-La Crosse 5-1 in the opening round Friday and shut out UW-Oshkosh 5-0 that evening. The two competitions were played to decision — meaning the team who wins five matches first wins the competition — because of the lack of space on McPhee Center’s indoor courts.
Senior Eric Wollum, who was the only Blugold to win all six of his matches this weekend, said he thought the team was successful, despite the changes in play.
“We had to move indoors and play a way we don’t normally play — we had to change the format of the matches,” he said. “That can kind of mess with a team’s head, but we stayed focused and put three good performances together.”
Eau Claire won all six of its doubles matches Friday night. The duo of sophomore Florent Marco and freshman Ryan Vande Linde dominated in both of their matches, easily defeating La Crosse and Oshkosh 8-1 at the No. 3 spot.
Only No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 singles were played out against La Crosse and only No. 3 and No. 6 against Oshkosh. All were wins, with the exception of sophomore Ben Robertson’s No. 5 match against La Crosse, which went to a super-tiebreaker.
Marco, whose No. 4 singles matches went unfinished Friday, said he wasn’t too disappointed that he only played three matches instead of his scheduled five on the weekend.
“It didn’t really bother me,” he said. “I wasn’t too worried, but I got to focus on my doubles (matches).”
Eau Claire fell to UW-Whitewater Saturday afternoon in a competition that involved several close matches.
After going to a super-tiebreaker, junior Chris Kuna narrowly defeated his No. 1 singles opponent 6-2, 4-6, 10-4. Vande Linde’s No. 5 singles match also went to a super-tiebreaker, but he eventually lost to Whitewater’s Ethan Niquet 6-4, 2-6, 10-4.
Overall, Marco said he thought the entire team played well throughout the weekend, despite encountering some snags.
Marco added that he thought they were ready for their last upcoming meet and to take on nationals, if they made it.
“As a team, I thought we really showed how we are capable of playing,” he said. “Everybody played solid.”
The Blugolds will finish out the regular season at 2 p.m. on Thursday, when they will host the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.).