No. 1 Bulldogs serve up shutout

p. This past weekend the men’s tennis team faced off against two nationally-ranked teams, and although the Tribe was unable to add any wins to their season record, the team sees this as a learning experience rather than an obstacle.

p. “We’ve opened the year with some very tough matches: four teams in the top 26,” senior Colin O’Brien said. “We’ve competed well in those matches and playing the best teams will only make us better players.”

p. Wake Forest University, ranked 26th in the country, started off its match against the Tribe Saturday by sweeping the doubles play, even defeating the 30th-ranked doubles team of O’Brien and junior Alex Cojanu. With the early lead in points, Wake Forest continued to dominate the courts; only one Tribe player arose victorious. Sophomore Alex Zuck fought his opponent through three sets, eventually losing the match, 6-1, 6-7, 10-4. Cojanu, ranked 49th nationally in singles play, also forced his rival to a deciding tiebreaker, 6-7, 7-6, 10-7, ultimately coming out on top with the victory. The final score of the match was 6-1 in Wake Forest’s favor.

p. The next day the Tribe took on no. 1 University of Georgia on the Bulldogs’ home courts in Atlanta, Ga. Beginning with the doubles play, the Tribe was unable to pick up the team point, but the ranked duo of O’Brien and Cojanu defeated their opponents, who are ranked first nationally in doubles play. The set came down to a tiebreaker as the two doubles teams battled it out, but the Tribe eventually came out victorious with an 8-7 final score for the set. The College did not have as much luck in singles play, as all six Tribe athletes to compete were defeated, with four of them playing against nationally-ranked players.

p. “We’ve taken care of the opponents we have been expected to beat, and I think it’s only a matter of time before we get some ranked wins and regain a ranking ourselves,” O’Brien said. “That is our goal right now. Then we will aim to get as highly ranked as possible.”

p. With that goal in mind, the College will host three matches this weekend at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center. The Tribe will first take on 24th-ranked University of Michigan Friday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. The match will mark the fifth time already this season that the College has faced a nationally-ranked opponent. That following Sunday, Feb. 11, the Tribe will go up against Michigan State University at 10 a.m. and James Madison University at 5 p.m.

p. “I am very interested and excited to see how we play for the rest of the year,” O’Brien said. “Everyone is welcome to come out and support us. It’s a fun time. It’s a very high energy environment and the fans can be as loud as they want to be. They will find some very passionate Tribe players on the courts to match.”


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