The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Tennis records win, loss at home matches

    The UW-Eau Claire men’s team knows a few things for certain right now: it had a successful season overall at 24-6, and it finished ranked No. 10 in the central region.

    But what the Blugolds won’t know until Monday is if they were successful enough to see post-season action.

    The team wrapped up regular season play by splitting two matches Saturday at home with Elmhurst College (Ill.) and Luther College (Iowa).

    The Blugolds swept Elmhurst 9-0 in the first match, with sophomore Chris Kuna winning 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 1 singles spot and senior Phil Loprinzi taking the No. 2 spot 6-1, 6-1. In doubles play Loprinzi and Kuna won at No. 1 by a score of 8-4, and the No. 2 pair of senior Kevin Fawcett and junior Lars Olson won 8-6.

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    “Elmhurst has got a couple good points here and there, but they aren’t as deep as far as teams are built,” coach Tom Gillman said. “I thought we played pretty well.”

    In the Luther match, Loprinzi was the only singles player to collect a win against the No. 9 Luther. However, in doubles play, the combinations of Olson and Fawcett at No. 2 and junior Eric Wollum and sophomore Dirk Van Rybroek at No. 3 managed 8-6 and 9-8 wins, respectively. Men’s doubles teams finished 28-2 overall this season.

    Gillman said the match with Luther was both a physical and mental challenge for the team.

    “You could smell it in the air, it was going to be a tough (match), it was going to be a clash,” Gillman said. “Sometimes it was too heated, if you want to know the truth.”

    With the regular season over, the Blugolds just have to wait to see if they are granted an at-large bid into the NCAA Division III tournament.

    “I certainly think we’ve proved to be worthy of that selection, not only to be there but to be a team to compete with,” Gillman said.

    Fawcett said he is optimistic that he will have at least one more chance to play tennis at the collegiate level. If not, however, he said he is proud of all the team has accomplished this season.

    “It’s been an awesome season for the team,” Fawcett said. “A couple things stand out about this team – they were always ready to respond. … Every time our backs were against the wall, we’d come back as a stronger team.”

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