The Lawrence University men’s tennis team traveled to Monmouth, Ill. last Saturday, March 31, to play two matches against Monmouth and Knox. The Vikings were swept by the Monmouth Fighting Scots (0-9) in the morning, but came back with a win against Knox Prairie Fire in the afternoon.
The Vikings came up short against Monmouth and were unable to take a single match. There were a few valiant efforts and close games. Junior Jason Dunn kept the sets close, losing to Monmouth’s Chris Franco (3-6, 4-6) at No. 1 singles. Senior Caleb Ray lost in the first set at No. 3 singles (0-6), but came back in the second set to lose 5-7. Freshman Craig Sherwood played a tough match, but lost in three sets (7-6, 6-7, 6-10) at No. 5 singles.
He took each set to a tiebreaker before being just barely defeated 6-10 in the final tiebreaker match. It was a rough morning in the doubles competition. Dunn and Max Zlevor lost 2-8 at No. 1 doubles. No. 2 doubles was a slightly closer match, and the Ray/Sherwood duo was able to take five games. Junior Cooper Smith and sophomore Jeremy Andereck played well at No. 3 doubles, but came up short with a 6-8 loss.
The afternoon was much brighter for the men’s tennis team. The top four singles players all took victories for the Vikings. Dunn was neck in neck with Knox’s Erik Hane during the first set of the No. 1 singles competition, winning 8-6 in the tiebreaker, but he came back with an easy 6-2 win in the second set to take the win.
Zlevor had an easy ride during the first set at No. 2 singles (6-2). He had a close call, taking the second set to a tiebreaker, but nevertheless pulled out a win. Ray had a smooth 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 3 singles.
Smith had an exciting 3-set match at No. 4 singles. He won the first set 6-2, but Knox’s David Ham came back to win the second set in the tiebreaker. Smith shut him down fairly quickly in the third set for another Lawrence victory. The No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams both played close matches, but were able to pull out two big wins for the Vikings (6-8; 6-8).
When asked to comment on the outcome of the weekend, Dunn noted, “We played a hard fought match versus Monmouth, but fell short in our results. Our match versus Knox came down to the wire with big wins, which sealed our team victory. On paper it may appear that we came up short on some matches, but everyone put forth their best effort and fought hard.”
The men’s tennis team plays next this Saturday at UW-Whitewater. They are currently 6-9, but they have some important conference matches coming up in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for updates, and come support the team when they play Grinnell at home on April 14!