Tennis finishes regular season at home

Alexander Weck

The men’s tennis team recorded their first Midwest Conference North Division victory Saturday, defeating visiting Beloit 5-2. The Vikings then fell to St. Norbert in their regular-season finale 6-1.
The Beloit match started with LU dropping a close doubles point. Fabrice Munyakazi-Juru and Dan Hertel pulled off an 8-6 victory at No. 1 but both No. 2 and No. 3 tandems fell by an 8-5 tally.
The Vikes bounced back in singles competition, winning 5 of 6 matches, four in straight sets. Victories came from Munyakazi-Juru, Hertel, Kyle Nodarse, Nick Dufficy, and Travis Fondow.
The following morning, the Vikings fell to a strong St. Norbert squad. The Green Knights made quick work of the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matches, winning both without losing a game, snagging the early lead.
Fondow and Tomas Romano eased to Lawrence’s only doubles win with an 8-2 victory at the No. 3 spot. Singles competition was more competitive than the 6-1 final score would indicate.
Although Fondow’s 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 6 was the only point for the team, other matches were closely contested.
Nate Kish took his No. 5 singles match to three sets, losing the third in a 7-4 tiebreaker, and three other matches went to tiebreakers. The most notable of these was Munyakazi-Juru’s 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) loss to two-time conference champion Aaron Sunday.
The weekend’s results leave Lawrence at 1-3 in the division and tied for third place in the MWC North. This is the second consecutive year they have finished with such a record.
LU now looks ahead to the MWC Championship this weekend at the Nielson Tennis Center in Madison. Singles competition is scheduled for Saturday, with doubles to follow on Sunday.
With the amount the Vikings’ lineup has changed at low singles and doubles positions this year, many players will expect to be assigned lower seeds than they may deserve because of lack of sufficient head to head competition with tournament opponents.
Having competed together the whole season, Munyakazi-Juru and Hertel head into the weekend with the best conference performance at any certain position, having amassed a 6-3 record at No. 1 doubles. Munyakazi-Juru leads the singles category with a 5-4 conference record.