Men’s tennis racks up four wins and two losses in Texas

The Blugolds enjoyed both warm weather and well-earned victories over spring break

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Men’s tennis racks up four wins and two losses in Texas

The Blugolds overcame intense physical, mental and environmental challenges while on the road in Texas last week.

The Blugolds overcame intense physical, mental and environmental challenges while on the road in Texas last week.

Photo by SUBMITTED

The Blugolds overcame intense physical, mental and environmental challenges while on the road in Texas last week.

Photo by SUBMITTED

Photo by SUBMITTED

The Blugolds overcame intense physical, mental and environmental challenges while on the road in Texas last week.

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The UW-Eau Claire Men’s Tennis team hit the road over break, bringing back four wins and two losses to add up to their current 11-4 season record.

The men, along with Eau Claire’s Women’s Tennis team, began and ended their stay in Texas with matches in Austin, while competing in several other cities north and east of the city.

Dry heat, harsh winds, challenging opponents and a rigorous match schedule kept the team on their toes, but the players embraced the challenge.

Head Coach Tom Gillman said the matches over break were a big success and the players’ upbeat mindsets enabled them to overcome these difficulties.

“Our team was really up for it. Attitude is everything on a trip like this,” he said. “It was kind of a toughness test, and we definitely passed.”

The Blugolds played six matches in five days and racked up wins against Concordia University, LeTourneau University, Centenary College and East Texas Baptist while being just shy of victories against both Southwestern University and Austin College.

In particular, Gillman said the match against Southwestern University — ranked number 39 in the nation — was a close battle, although the final score was 1-8.

Eau Claire’s Danny Schoen, Zach Janssen and Renan Barros fought to the third set for their singles matches before falling short to the Pirates.

Doubles partners Barros and Schoen as well as Conrad Felten and Janssen had close matches as well, ending with scores of 7-9 and 6-8, respectively.

For Felten and Janssen, this was the only match they lost as a duo during the trip.

Felten, a senior captain, said playing with Janssen was a big highlight for him, especially ending with an 8-5 win at Austin, which put the Blugolds on the board for doubles.

“We played a team who cheered and shouted after every point, so the first couple games were pretty intense and emotional, but by the end of the match they were keeping quiet,” Felten said. “Those are some of the most satisfying wins.”

The duo currently leads the team in doubles with an overall record of 11-3 so far this season, followed by partners Schoen and Will Weyenberg at 7-2 and Andrew Dahl and Mike Mauthe at 7-6.

For singles, Janssen currently leads the Blugolds with a record of 14-4, followed by Felten and Schoen, each with scores of 10-4.

Although Felten said the break in Texas was termed a “business trip,” there was, of course, much more to it than six well fought matches.  

“Staying in hotels together, being able to walk downtown, try out new coffee shops, check out the capitol, enjoy the warm weather, eat some good food — it was just so much fun,” he said.

Eau Claire will face Illinois’ Wheaton College at 6 p.m. Friday, March 31 and Minnesota’s St. Olaf College at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 1 at the Eau Claire YMCA.

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