This past weekend, Lawrence University’s men’s tennis team travelled to Green Bay, Wis. to compete against the University of Dubuque and the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. The weekend was split evenly between the two teams for the Vikings, as they played very well and tried their hardest to come out on top of their competitors. They were able to overcome Dubuque 9-0, but fell to UW–Eau Claire 9-0. The team had an easier ride against Dubuque than they did against UW–Eau Claire, but they still played well against both.
Both competitions were very strong and competitive for the Vikings, but in the matches against Dubuque, the Vikings were able to come out on top in straight sets. “Dubuque presented some challenges, but we came out aggressive and determined,” stated head coach Steven Francour. Freshman Cam Strawn proved the toughest in the matches against Dubuque by not losing a single game against his opponent, winning both sets with a score of 6-0. Overall, the rest of the team performed very well and only dropped, at most, three games in each set, and more often than not, dropped less than that. Sophomore Evan Oriel had the second best outcome on the team, beating his opponent 6-2, 6-0. Junior Cade Francuor defeated his opponent 6-1, 6-3 and had the same results as sophomore Matt Chan. Junior Connor Malone won both of his sets 6-3, while junior Aidan Delgad won with a score of 6-1, 6-3. On the doubles side of the competition, the Vikings played strongly against Dubuque, with Maloney and Francour pulling ahead of their opponents 8-1. Chan and junior Andrea Arrivella also played a strong doubles match, winning 8-2. Delgado and Oriel followed in suit and won 8-4. Although the team shut out Dubuque, the tougher competition came from UW–Eau Claire.
The Vikings had a little more trouble when it came to the matches against UW–Eau Claire. Having been a strong team to play against previously, the only challenge facing the Vikings was meeting UW–Eau Claire’s intensity and effort. “Connor Maloney played well against Eau Claire,” commented Coach Francour. “He played at a high level against a very good opponent, Zach Janssen. He had chances in the first set and kept his high level of play throughout the match.” Maloney fell to Janssen 7-6, 6-4. “Even though he didn’t win, his effort was outstanding,” added Coach Francour. Strawn showed potential as well in his games, losing to his opponent 6-3, 6-1. In the doubles competition, Strawn and Arrivella preformed the best out of the three doubles, but still fell to UW–Eau Claire 8-4. Delgado and Chan also had a prime opportunity to pull ahead, but lost the match against UW–Eau Claire 8-3. With a win and loss under their belts, the Vikings will continue to move forward and look at their next competition against University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.
Up until now, the season has been going favorably for the Vikings. The pace has been exactly what they hoped for. “Our work rate has been exceptional in practice and matches,” stated Coach Francour. “Our goal is always to improve each time on the court and get ready for our end-of-season conference matches. These are our goals whether we are playing inside or out.” After the indoor season, the Vikings will move to outdoor courts where their focus will also include consistency in matches and longer rallies that will become imperative if the team wishes to succeed. But for right now, a main focus, in addition to overall improvement, is staying healthy. Currently, there are a couple of Vikings that are injured and are still working towards recovery. The competition against UW–La Crosse will be extremely competitive and will require a team that is in good health. “La Crosse will be an aggressive team and we will need to match their intensity immediately,” commented Coach Francour. With another tough competition ahead, it will be important for the Vikings to aggressively rally back and work hard to move forward and improve, while also trying their best to grab recovery between each match and stay healthy. The La Crosse matches will serve as another chance to improve their game-play, as well as an opportunity to get ready for their conference matches.
The Vikings will have a home competition on Friday, March 1, against UW–La Crosse. The event will be held at the Fox Cities Racquet Club and will begin at 7 p.m. This match will be their last home match and second to last match before Spring Break.