Emerging from a 45-minute rain delay, junior Adrian Vodislav aimed to open his No. 1 singles match against Clemson’s No. 49 Yannick Maden with a commanding performance.
Maden crouched low, awaiting Vodislav’s first serve, but that serve never came. Vodislav, who went on to lose 6-1, 6-0, dropped the game without causing Maden to return the ball once. The Tribe’s performance echoed that of their No. 1 singles player, as the match resulted in a 4-0 loss Wednesday in Williamsburg. With the Tigers already having clinched the win, the No. 3 doubles and No. 2, 4, and 6 singles games stopped short.
“I thought Clemson was a good team,” head coach Peter Daub said. “They came out and they played better doubles than we did. I thought we played and fought incredibly hard in singles — no let down. I thought the effort was there — they were too good. They’re a good team, they’re an ACC team. I give them the credit, they were too good today.”
The College (9-12) sent freshman Will Juggins and junior Anton Andersson to face Clemson’s (6-8) Maden and Ayrton Wibowo in the No. 1 doubles match. Both Juggins and Andersson struggled to return the Tiger serves as the duo fell 8-3.
On the third court, the Tribe continue to misstep with Clemson’s consistent style of play. Sophomore John Banks and graduate student Robert Pietrucha dropped their match 8-4. Sophomore Ben Guthrie and sophomore Ben Hoogland, the Tribe’s third doubles team, were down 6-4 when their match ended early.
“They were so consistent — they were a lot of International Play Corps players who just kept the ball going and going and going and going. We have to do a better job of being consistent,” Daub said.
As play transitioned into singles matches, Vodislav continuously sent serve after serve into the net or just out of play. After dropping the first three games, Vodislav found some rhythm to win the fourth game without conceding a point.
That would be as well as Vodislav played, however, as Maden sent a forehand winner down the line to win the fifth game and the first set 6-1. Midway through the first game of the second set Vodislav tumbled down the court after attempting to keep the ball in play and rose with a limp. After treatment from the trainer, Vodislav continued to play with impressive long rallies in the third and fifth sets before dropping the second set 6-0.
The Tribe’s Ben Hoogland fared slightly better in the No. 3 spot. After losing the first set 6-4, Hoogland fought back to push the second set to a tiebreaker. As Hoogland and Clemson’s Wibowo returned forehand after forehand, Hoogland finally pushed a shot just past the end line to give Wibowo the advantage. On the ensuing serve, Hoogland sprinted to his right to return a drop shot into the net, sealing the defeat at 7-6 (5).
The Tiger’s Hunter Harrington downed Robert Pietrucha to wrap up Clemson’s victory, leaving three other matches unfinished. In the No. 2 spot, Ben Guthrie was fighting back from a 6-2, 5-4 deficit, while John Banks had turned the tables in his second set, 1-6, 6-4. Freshman Will Juggins was in the midst of a third set, 6-2, 3-6, 1-1, when the game was called.
As the College looks ahead to its remaining schedule, Daub is optimistic for the future.
“We need to go in confident and I think we have the desire, but I think we have to have a belief. It’s not something you can just turn the switch on. That’s the area we need to man up with before the CAAs, and I think we will,” Daub said.