The men’s tennis team faced two NESCAC opponents this past week, Colby and Conn. College. On Saturday, April 23, the men’s program swept the Mules 9-0. This was the team’s sixth NESCAC win of the season and 10th overall. This marks one of the best starts in the program’s history and shows its dominance in conference play. In its second match of the week, Wesleyan defeated a weaker team in Conn. College, also 9-0. The Camels are now 0-4 in NESCAC play, while the Cards currently stand at 7-3.
Facing Colby, the Cardinals traveled up to Waterville, Mass. to show the Mules what they were made of and swept both singles and doubles play. The Birds came out firing, winning all three of the doubles matches easily. At the No. 1 position, Zacko Brint ’16 and Greg Lyon ’17 showed their prowess on the court by defeating their opponents 8-4. Mike Liu ’17 and Steven Chen ’18 defeated their opponents Shaw Speer and Mark HoSang 8-3 at the No. 2 position. At the No. 3 position, Joachim Samson ’19 and Sam Rudovsky ’16 won the last doubles match of the day 8-4 against their Colby opponents.
Wesleyan also excelled in singles play, winning all six of their matches. At the No. 1 position, Chen played a tough three-set match against Carl Reid. Chen won the first match definitively 6-1, but lost the second set in a close tie-breaker 7-6. However, in the last set, Chen came out confidently and secured the match win 6-2. At the No. 2 position, Liu also had a tough three-set match against his opponent. Similarly to Chen, Liu started the match confidently, winning the first set 6-2, but subsequently lost his second set closely at 6-4. Liu came back in the third set and secured his match 6-2. In positions three through six, the Cardinals claimed straight set victories from Tiago Eusebio ’18, Samson, Cameron Daniels ’18, and Jake Roberts ’17. This win makes the Cardinals the fourth seed in the NESCAC, only behind Williams, Bowdoin, and Middlebury. This is the highest ranking for the squad in recent years and gives them a lot of confidence before post-season play.
In addition to a string of great wins in the past two weeks, Chen and Liu were also named regional players of the week in DIII Tennis for the week of April 18 to April 24. The blog DIII Tennis wrote the following about the players.
“While Wesleyan didn’t have the toughest team competition this week, the Cards beat Bates and Colby, both Chen and Liu have deserved this award multiple times over the past couple weeks,” the blog reads. “Both have been outstanding over the past couple weeks, and both went undefeated again this week. They also deserve some praise because they were switched around in the lineup (Chen up to #1 and Liu down to #2) and both handled their business. Chen beat Rosen (Bates) and Reid (Colby), and now appears to have an NCAA spot all but locked down (he’ll need to win 2/3 of Conn, Brandeis, and NESCACs 1st round to make sure). On the other side, Liu went out and smoked Ellis (Bates) in the middle of the week, and took a tough 3-setter from the very capable Murad (Colby) over the weekend. In addition, there didn’t seem to be any ill-effects in the chemistry department, as the doubles pair won both their doubles matches as well.”
In the second match of the week, the Cardinals won easily against another NESCAC rival, Conn College. The men’s team swept the dual match 9-0. The Cards started off well with a 3-0 win at the doubles position. At the No.1 doubles position, Brint and Cameron Hicks ’17 defeated Jonathan Kraiger and Ben Sachs 8-4. Up next, at the No. 2 doubles, Rudovsky and Daniels claimed an 8-3 win over their opponents. The last doubles duo, of Eusebio and Roberts, dominated their Camel opponents 8-2.
The Cardinals won singles play 6-0, with Eusebio winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 1 position. Samson, playing No. 2 for the first time all season, earned a quick 6-2, 6-1 win over Charlie Williams. At the No. 3 position, Daniels crushed his opponent 6-0, 6-2. In his first singles match of the year, Hicks beat his opponent definitively 6-2, 6-3. At the No. 4 and 5 positions, Roberts and Michael King ’16 dominated their opponents in straight sets.
The Cardinals look to finish off their brilliant regular season with a win against Brandeis University this coming weekend. The team travels up to Waltham, Mass. on Saturday, April 30 to play the Judges.