Going into Saturday’s match against the Colby College Mules, the men’s tennis team had shown the unsettling trend of playing better tennis against out of conference teams than they did against NESCAC opponents. Wesleyan was in need of a winnable NESCAC match to demonstrate the strength of its program and dispel the myth that it was an easy conference target. Despite the nearly universal confidence that they would be able to get back on track at home this past weekend against Colby, Wesleyan endured a surprising 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Mules, pushing their overall record down to a paltry 6-6-1 and a league-worst conference record of 0-3.
Unlike their last two NESCAC opponents, Amherst (3-0) and Bowdoin (2-1), Wesleyan was facing a team with a losing conference record in Colby (1-2), meaning the match seemed to be up for grabs. Unfortunately, the Cardinals failed to grab it. Team #1 Jeff Legunn ‘13 and #2 Michael Piderit ‘12 both won their matches in convincing fashion (6-4, 6-3 and 6-3, 7-5, respectively), but the rest of the singles squad did not fare as well. While # 3 Alex Hirsch ‘13 was able to push both of his sets to the limit, he ended up on the wrong side of a losing match that provided the Cardinals with their best chance at a victory (6-7, 5-7).
The doubles matches proved even less competitive for the Cardinals, who could not even manage a win in the match featuring their two singles winners Legunn and Piderit (3-8). The other doubles team of Hirsch and Donald Kleckner ’13 (5-8) provided the Cardinals with their best chance at a doubles victory, while the third doubles team of captain Garrett Blank ’11 and Robert Troyer ’12 fared the same as the first, losing 3-8.
The team members hope that this disappointing outing will light a fire under them. After a match at Babson on Thursday, the Cards will face rivals Williams and Hamilton at home next weekend.