The Lawrence University men’s tennis team travelled to UW-Whitewater last Saturday, April 7 to compete in two matches against UW-Whitewater and Rock Valley College. The Vikings completely dominated the Rock Valley Golden Eagles, defeating them 9-0. They then played a hard-fought match against the UW-Whitewater Warhawks, but came up short with a loss of 1-8.
The Vikings had a swift victory over Rock Valley College. In the singles competition, the Golden Eagles were not able to take more than three games in a single set from the Vikings. Both Cooper Smith and Craig Sherwood had notable performances, as they were able to completely shut out their opponents 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 4 and No. 5 singles competitions, respectively.
Jason Dunn defeated Rock Valley’s Jon Rolando 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. Max Zlevor came up with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 2 singles, and senior captain Caleb Ray defeated Mason Klein 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles. The doubles competition was a breeze for the Vikings. The No. 1 doubles duo of Dunn and Zlevor took a 8-1 victory over Rock Valley’s Jon Rolando and Scott Newcomb. No. 2 doubles Caleb Ray and Craig Sherwood also played a clean match, defeating their opponents 8-4. Rock Valley gave up both the No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles matches by forfeit.
The Vikings played tough against UW-Whitewater, but were defeated 1-8 by the Warhawks. Dunn delivered one of the best matches of his career against UW-Whitewater’s No. 1 singles player Byron Balkin. Dunn took the first set by with a slim two-game lead (6-4), but Balkin came back strong in the second set to route Dunn (4-6). They battle back and forth in the tiebreaker set, but Dunn pulled ahead to win the third set 10-8 and take the match.
Cooper Smith had the second-highest scoring match and was able to take three games from Whitewater’s Andy McGlashen in both sets to lose 3-6, 3-6. The men went 0-3 in the doubles competition. Both the Dunn/Zlevor No. 1 doubles team and Smith/Andereck No. 3 doubles team took 3 games to lose 3-8 against UW-Whitewater. Ray and Sherwood at No. 2 doubles took a respectable two games to lose 2-8.
When asked to comment on the outcome of the matches, junior Zlevor noted, “We played well against Rock Volley and won with ease. UW-Whitewater is ranked one of the top teams in the nation. Although we lost, we played hard and gained valuable experience.”
The Viking men’s tennis team is now 7-10 for the season. They have an important home match against Grinnell this Saturday, April 14, so come support the tennis team at 1:30 p.m. on the Lawrence courts.