The Lawrence University Men’s Tennis team split a pair of matches against MWC Northern Division foes this past weekend. The Vikings lost Friday night to Ripon, but came back to defeat Beloit Saturday.Friday night, both teams drove through the snow and ice to play in the warm confines of Club West in Neenah. The Redhawks had played 16 matches on the season, while this would be only the Vikings’ second.
The experience showed, as Ripon blew past the Vikings, winning 6-1 and taking the lead in the Northern Division of the MWC. The Vikings won only two matches of the nine played.
In doubles, Brian Hilgeman and Nick Beyler won 8-5. The Redhawks won the other two doubles matches to take the one doubles point.
In singles, the Redhawks swept through the Viking lineup. All the Vikings fell in straight sets except for Hilgeman, who lost in a third set tiebreaker, and Fabrice Munyakazi-Juru, who won his match in three sets.
Saturday was a different story for the Vikings. They went down to Beloit and showed the Buccaneers who was boss. The Vikings came back to Appleton with a 7-0 victory under their belts.
The three doubles matches were a breeze as the three Viking teams lost a combined three games. Jai Arora and Munyakazi-Juru won 8-0, Hilgeman and Beyler won 8-1, and Alex Clark and Dan Putterman won 8-2.
In the singles, it was the same thing. The Vikings won all the singles matches, and won all in straight sets, except for Hilgeman and Munyakazi-Juru, who were taken to a third set each.
The Vikings have had many matches postponed, and will now face a daunting task this weekend when they travel to Iowa to play Grinnell and non-conference foes Coe and Wartburg.
The Vikings will return home next week and host matches at home for four straight days next Monday to next Thursday. They will play MWC opponents Carroll and St. Norbert, and state schools UW-Oshkosh and UW-Whitewater.
All those matches will start at 3:30 p.m. on the courts on Drew Street, weather permitting.