The men’s tennis team was barely edged out on Friday, Feb. 21 against Concordia University, 5-4. The overall match was characterized by several close battles that went into tie-breaking third sets, signifying a very competitive match between two teams of near equal skill. After this week’s loss, the Vikings record dropped to 1-3 overall, while Concordia picked up their first win of the season to match Lawrence’s record.
Leading up to this weekend’s match, the Viking tennis team focused on competing against the hosting Concordia Falcons in spite of their short roster. “We’re stretched thin this year, and with only seven guys our mentality each and every time out is to never say die; to always keep fighting, and to take it one point at a time always trying to improve upon the last,” said senior Jeremy Andereck. “Concordia was no different.”
This week, the Vikings certainly fought hard and stretched the opposing team to its limit. In the singles competition, Lawrence was able to pick up points in two sets from Andereck (6-0, 6-3) and freshman David Jumes (6-0, 6-2). Sophomore Mitch Kasprzyk also won his match in a third set tiebreaker, 7-6. Sophomores Adam Busch and Ethan Perushek took their matches to three sets but were narrowly defeated.
In the doubles competition, the Vikings were able to win one out of the three matches. The duo of Andereck and sophomore Brian DeCorte lost 8-3, whie Perushek and Busch fell 8-5. Jumes and Kasprzyk, on the other hand, were able to pull off a victory by a score of 8-6.
Overall, the Vikings took this weekend’s match as a step in the right direction. “We played hard, just ended up coming up a little bit short,” reflected Andereck. “But with every match, there are positives to take away and things that need work. We know that. I thought our heads were in the right place and loved the intensity that we played with, so we’ll take those positives into practice this week and try and improve upon some of the things that didn’t go so well to get ready for our conference opener next weekend.”
Going forward with the rest of the season, the men’s tennis team has made it a personal goal to perform at their peak in order to make a run for the conference tournament. Andereck commented, “As always, my goal each and every time out is to come off the court knowing that I did all I could, and I know that I speak for my teammates when I say that they strive to do the same. We’d love nothing more than to make the team conference tournament at the end of the year by beating up on the Northern Division.”