Saturday, William and Mary welcomed Charlotte to a hot and sunny Williamsburg. The Tribe (11-9) ultimately defeated the 49ers (12-14) in a 6-1 conquest. With this victory, the first match at the Millie West Tennis Facility this season, the College improves to 9-1 at home.
“This is our first home match outside so we’ve had a lot of success indoors, but to be able to play outside, you know, that was great,” head coach Jeff Kader ’05 said.
The College jumped off with a 1-0 lead by securing the doubles point. Sophomore Brenden Volk and freshman Michael Chen dominated at the No. 2 spot with a 6-1 victory over Charlotte’s Benjamin Wayand and Leonardo Menezes. The Tribe duo of senior Christian Cargill and freshman Louis Newman followed close behind, defeating Oriol Puig Forne and Siem Fenne 6-2 at the No. 3 spot. Junior Tristan Bautil and senior Alec Miller’s match at the top spot went unfinished.
“As much as we don’t like to say its chemistry between teams, that does come into play there,” Kader said. “Everyone that we have can play doubles and they can play doubles well. It’s just kind of figuring out which combos mesh the best and who compliments each other the best. And I think we’ve gotten that… It was really just finding those matchups and having them go out there and have some success. It’s been building off itself.”
The Tribe started off strong in singles play with a 6-2, 6-3 win for Newman at the No. 3 spot. Freshman Finbar Talcott followed suit at the No. 4 spot, defeating Menezes 6-3, 7-5 after a hard-fought second set. Newman and Talcott’s success pushed the Tribe lead up to 3-0, one point away from a team win.
“We rallied around our three seniors, obviously it’s a big moment, it’s their senior day. We all kind of just wanted to play for them, and I think we did.” — BRENDEN VOLK
“The team as a whole played great today,” Volk said. “We rallied around our three seniors, obviously it’s a big moment, it’s their senior day. We all kind of just wanted to play for them, and I think we did.”
Volk was the next to finish, with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Siem Fenne at the No. 6 spot. Close behind was senior Lars de Boer at the No. 5 spot, coming out on top 7-5, 6-3 against Charlotte opponent Forne. These matches called the contest in the College’s favor with a 5-0 lead.
Both matches at the top positions went into third sets. At the No. 2 spot, Miller dropped a close first set 7-5 before taking the second set 6-2 against Wayand. Miller’s third set went into a long-fought super tiebreaker, where he came out victorious 1-0(8).
“[Playing outside is] a bit of a challenge,” Miller said. “Definitely windy conditions, you know, courts have got a lot of pollen on them so they’re a little bit slick… but it’s always nice to be outside and to be at home. Can’t complain.”
At the top spot, Cargill took the first set 6-4 before dropping the second set 6-1 to Luca Keist. Cargill lost the third set 6-4, marking Charlotte’s single point of the matchup.
The Tribe will hit the road again Sunday to take on Old Dominion in Norfolk, Virginia. Following the match against the Monarchs, the College will head into the Colonial Athletic Association championship with a 2-0 conference record.
“I think that our guys as of right now are healthy, which is always a big thing towards the end of the year,” Kader said. “Really, if we’re feeling confident, then I like our chances. And even if not, I know that our guys are going to dig down and find a way to win. But I think going in there a little bit confident is certainly going to, hopefully, give us a little edge.”