Men’s Tennis Faces Top Competition in Williamstown
A select group of the Cardinals’ men’s tennis squad traveled to Williamstown, Mass. for the 2010 ITA Regional Championships this past weekend. Jeff Legunn, Ravy Uong, Alex Hirsch, and Donald Kleckner, all members of the Class of 2013, represented Wesleyan against some of the best competition the region has to offer.
“It was definitely a step up in competition,” Kleckner said. “The first two matches of the fall season were pretty big ones for us over Nichols and Union, but the level of competition definitely took a step or two up playing some of the top teams in New England this past weekend. So I think this is something we can take and move forward and build on, try to finish the fall season strong.”
Kleckner and Hirsch entered the tournament in doubles competition, but were promptly knocked out following a difficult first round match-up, though they are not allowing this to discourage them.
“It could have been a little bit better,” Kleckner said. “I think Alex and I had a tough draw against Middlebury. They won the national championship last year, so that was a tough one for us. We played pretty well, I was happy with our performance. Score-wise it could have gone better but overall I was pretty pleased.”
Uong did not fare considerably better in singles play, hanging with his Williams opponent in the first set before ultimately falling to him with a 7-5, 6-1 first round result. Legunn proved once again to be a star capable of anchoring the Cardinals squad, as he advanced to the round of 16 with a strong 7-6(6), 6-1 victory against the Coast Guard Academy’s Greg Mitchell in the opening round and another 6-1, 6-4 win over MIT’s Brian Oldfield in the second round.
Legunn’s performance accentuated a weekend defined by optimism. While Wesleyan tennis might not be at the level of powerhouses Middlebury and Williams right now, the Cardinals are playing with grit and determination that exceeds their talent, giving them the potential to harness this experience and eventually make an impact down the line.
“I would say this shows us what level we need to be playing it to compete with and beat the other teams in the NESCAC,” Uong said. “It gives us a good idea how hard we have to work, the level we have to be at. We all know that we’re capable of doing it so it’s definitely reassuring.”