Men’s tennis wins match, one canceled

Rain and bad weather forced the cancellation of one of the weekend’s two matches for the Blugold men’s tennis team. The match they played, however, resulted in victory.

“It was one of our best matches of the year,” senior Jeff Peterson said, referring to Saturday’s 6-3 victory over Bethel University (Minn.).

Bad weather forced the team inside, which Peterson said affected the games of some players, but they were able to overcome it.

“I think we’ve developed a certain level of adaptability,” coach Tom Gillman said. “We’ve played on enough surfaces that we can adjust if we have to.”

Last year’s match against Bethel was canceled, which added more incentive for the Blugolds to do well this year, Peterson said.

“We kind of went in wanting to prove something to them – that we could beat them,” he said, adding Bethel was a tough opponent with a strong line-up.

Gillman said he expected a tougher time with Bethel.

The ‘Golds struggled in their doubles matches, winning only one of three. The No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams lost 8-5 and 8-6, respectively, and the No. 3 doubles team won 8-2.

Gillman said once the singles matches started, the Bethel fans were in shock. The men took 5 out of 6 singles matches to win the meet.

He attributed the win to the team’s patience.

“We had the right mentality,” Gillman said. “We were able to tolerate the disappointment of losing some of the doubles.”

“There were some really tough matches in singles that we really stepped up and pulled out,” Peterson said.

Peterson said one player who really played well was junior Tim Eisele, who won a tough No. 1 singles match.

Eisele, who lost his No. 1 doubles match with partner sophomore Steve Lantz, came back to win his singles match 10-6 in the third set.

“He probably had one of his best matches ever,” Peterson said. “He was the stand-out player.”

Lantz also won his No. 2 singles match 6-4, 6-2.

Other players who won their matches included senior Aaron Nordenskjold at No. 3 singles and the doubles team of Peterson and junior Erik Brandner.

Gillman said the team has just been perfecting what it’s been working on in practice. He said the first half of the season he had a rigorous plan for the team, and Saturday’s victory was a result of what they’ve been trying to do.

“The top of our singles line-up got off to a slow start at the beginning of the year,” Gillman said, adding one of his team’s strongest assets is its depth. “When we have our top guys playing well, we’re really tough to beat.”

He added it was a little disappointing not being able to play Concordia College (Minn.), saying he thought the Blugolds would have done well against the Cobbers.

He said he is happy with the result and hopes to finish the season with the same attitude.

“We literally had a chance to win every point,” Gillman said, “and that’s satisfying.”