Men’s Tennis Team Falls in a Close Loss at Roger Williams
The Cardinals men’s tennis team suffered a surprising 5-4 defeat to Roger Williams on Sunday. A team that drove up to Bristol, R.I. with dreams of an undefeated fall season returned home 3-1, looking to regroup with their first setback of the year fresh in mind.
“We’re certainly disappointed,” said captain Garrett Blank ’11. “This was a match that, going into it, we thought we had a really good chance of winning. We hadn’t played them before and they’re a better team than we thought they were going to be. I don’t know if we came out emotionally weaker than we normally do, or what, but they beat us in all three doubles. It’s a tough climb to come back in singles after that.”
The team was clearly thrown into disarray by the absence of Jeff Legunn ’13 due to a fever that held him out of practice Saturday and play Sunday. Legunn consistently plays as the number one singles player and on the number one doubles team with Ravy Uong ’13. Without Legunn, the rest of the team was forced to move up from their normal slots in order to compensate, and all six singles players had to fill doubles slots as well, as only six active players made the trip to Bristol.
Uong and Alex Hirsch ’13 played as the first doubles team, falling 3-8. Hirsch normally plays on the second doubles team with Donald Kleckner ’13, who instead played with Michael Glen ’13; the new pairing also lost by a score of 5-8. Blank and Stefan Golangco ’11 comprised the third doubles team and lost 3-8.
“We were in a pretty big hole, falling back 3-0 in doubles, but I think a positive that we can take from this is how well we responded in singles,” Uong said. “It came down to 4-4, so we didn’t let the doubles get us down, we bounced back. We still could’ve won despite the doubles, so it’s a tough loss.”
Legunn is expected to return for Thursday’s fall season finale at the Vine Street courts against Coast Guard, restoring the team’s usual lineup and hopefully its usual consistency. Blank and company are looking to end the fall on a high note before jumping into winter practicing and NESCAC competition in the spring.
“I won’t say we were cocky going into this match, but we were very, very confident going into this match,” Blank said. “Maybe we took them a little bit lightly, and we certainly won’t do that against Coast Guard. We’ve played Coast Guard in the past; they’re a very good team. With our small team, we have to give it all we’ve got to beat them.”