Men’s Tennis Loses to Babson 4-5
After a long layoff between dual matches, and an even longer time since its last victory, the men’s tennis team looked forward to a Friday match against Babson as an opportunity to capture some much-needed momentum. Unfortunately, the Cardinals fell 4-5 and found themselves reeling before their final contest of the fall season.
The Cardinals started off strong, with a victory from the #3 doubles pair of tri-captain Donald Kleckner ’13 and Stephen Monk ’15 by a categorical 8-2 margin. Not to be outdone, Michael King ’16 and Zach Brint ’16 continued their successful #1 doubles pairing with an 8-6 victory. The final doubles pair of tri-captain Jeff Legunn ’13 and Sam Rudovsky ’16 seemed to be following suit after breaking open a 7-4 games lead against the Cardinal’s Babson opponents. Coming a point away from taking all three doubles matches, Legunn and Rudovsky dropped five consecutive games and took the loss at 9-7.
The final doubles contest marked a momentum shift between Babson and Wesleyan, with the Cardinals managing only two victories afterward in the singles round. Monk continued to have a successful day, knocking off his opponent in three sets, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3. This victory left Monk undefeated and the Cardinals merely two victories away from winning the overall match. However, the team could only manage one more victory and squandered away a great opportunity to improve its record. Charlie Seifer ’15, playing at the #6 singles spot for the first time all year, proved his worth when he made quick work of his opponent in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
In the final four defeats for the Cardinals in their singles matches, only one managed to extend into three sets. King played at the #3 singles spot and won his second set, only to fall in the third, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6. Playing in the #1 singles spot, Jeff Legunn struggled against his opponent, losing quickly 1-6, 2-6.
The margin of defeat coupled with such a strong desire to win this match left the Cardinals disappointed at the conclusion of competition on Friday.
“There were many close matches, and it was very tough to lose such a hard-fought competition,” Alex Rachlin ’15 remarked as he left the team’s matches.
The men’s tennis team has historically taken away positives during its defeats. This year, the team seems uncomfortable accepting anything other than success during its matches.
The Cardinals drop to 1-3 overall (0-1 NESCAC) for the season. They face Little Three rival and national powerhouse Amherst College to end the season on Saturday, Oct. 13. Though the odds may not be in their favor, the Cardinals have made it clear that their goal is not to learn from another defeat at the hands of a NESCAC opponent. Instead, they hope to earn a victory that will exemplify what they are capable of in the spring season.