The men’s tennis team headed into this weekend with a different approach then they had employed in the past.
“We have been kind of dwelling in the past and getting down because of what we should have done differently,” said Alex Hirsch ’13. “It was becoming a thing where you would focus on, ‘what I could have changed here, or how I should have shot that differently there,’ but at the end of the day that’s not what we have to be thinking about. We lost to Williams, but that’s it, the rest of these ones are winnable and we should win them and not think about what could have been. That’s the mindset we have to take moving forward.”
Hirsch spoke in the wake of a loss to little three rival Williams on Saturday and may have been referring to the upcoming Sunday match against Hamilton, where the men lost as well.
On Thursday the Cardinal men started the weekend off strong with a big win while visiting Babson College, 7-2. This match was all business for the Cards, who received singles victories from three sophomores (#1 Jeff Legunn, #5 Donald Kleckner, and #6 Michael Thaddeus Glen) and two juniors (#2 Michael Piderit and #4 Robert Troyer). Troyer won his match in a thrilling tiebreaker to edge out his Babson opponent. The sophomore contingent also came through in a big way during the doubles matches, when two all-sophomore teams won their matches (#2 team Legunn/Kleckner and #3 team John Parsons/Glen) to preserve Wesleyan’s 7-2 win. Unfortunately Babson is not a member of the NESCAC, and thus did not count as the Cardinals’ first in-conference win of the year. Worse still, neither would Williams, as the Ephs upended the Cards in Middletown on Saturday in a clean 9-0 victory. No Cardinal player managed more than two games won in any given set, assuring the Cardinals a last place finish in the Little Three tennis competition yet again.
The Cardinals then played a winnable NESCAC match, but unfortunately they fell to Hamilton at home, 5-4. The Cardinals controlled the doubles matches, as the #1 team of Hirsch/Piderit and the #3 team of Glen/Parsons were both victorious, making that the second doubles win in as many tries this weekend for Glen/Parsons. However, the Cards could only capture two wins out of the six singles matches, thanks again to Legunn at #1 and Kleckner at #5. All of the other singles players lost, making it the fourth contest this year the Cards have played determined by one match, three of which they have lost.
Wesleyan will have to be able to play better in close contests if they can hope to survive in the fiercely competitive NESCAC. As Hirsch said, the Cards will have to forget the past and look to the future if they hope to achieve NESCAC success this year. One of their best chances to do so is their upcoming match at home against Connecticut College this Thursday.