On March 30, the Lawrence University men’s tennis team hosted Knox College (4-12) at the Fox Cities Racquet Club. The Vikings soundly defeated the Knox Prairie Fire 8-1, bringing their record to 8-6 overall. “It was a good match to win because Knox can give us a headache sometimes,” said senior Cooper Smith on last weekend’s competition. “They played us really close last year.”
The Vikings started the competition with two close doubles matches, pulling off victories in both as well as dominating the No. 3 match. Seniors Jason Dunn and Max Zlevor earned a first doubles win in a 7-5 tie break, while Smith and junior Jeremy Andereck also came out on top of a 7-4 tie break for a No. 2 doubles victory. Sophomore Craig Sherwood teamed up with freshman Brian Decorte to record a No. 3 doubles victory 8-0, rounding out the first part of the match with successful results.
“We all started pretty slowly,” explained Smith. “One and two doubles both won in tie-breaks, which was important for getting momentum going into singles. Once doubles won, we were able to loosen up and basically brought it in singles.”
Lawrence proceeded to win five of six singles matches to soundly secure the victory over Knox. Smith won No. 1 singles 6-3, 6-1; Dunn took second singles 6-2, 6-2; Sherwood and Decorte won No. 4 (6-3, 6-1) and No. 5 (6-1, 6-1) respectively, and Andereck earned a shutout (6-0, 6-0) No. 6 singles victory for the Vikings.
The win over Knox combined with the previous weekend’s 6-3 victory over Monmouth was a huge confidence boost for the Vikings. “It’s always good to get a win going into one of our most important weekends,” said Smith, referring to the coming competitions against Grinnell and Cornell. “Cornell is a new addition to the conference so we’ve never played them before, and we’ve never beaten Grinnell as a team as long as I’ve been here. They’re always the toughest.”
Lawrence will travel to Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa on Saturday, April 6 to face Cornell College at 9 a.m. and Grinnell College at noon.