Tennis Hits Slump Over Spring Break
Oberlin has seen good seasons from the men and women’s tennis teams this year with some early winning streaks and great conference rankings. Thus far, both teams have been steadily improving, with a few players on each team really starting to stand out.
On the men’s side, sophomore David Midler had an undefeated record of 8-0 going into the break. Juniors Chris Pray and Colin Burling both stood with a record of 7-1, senior Arthur Zeyda and junior Ezra Goldman were also doing well with records of 6-2 and 5-2, respectively. The most surprising performances, however, have come from the two newcomers to the team, sophomore Igor Pancevski and first-year Jordan Maseng.
Both players have improved greatly since they first picked up their rackets, as stated by their teammates. In a short time, the two have really started playing like professionals and the team looks forward to seeing them in competition.
On the women’s side, the standout player has been sophomore Olivia Hayden with her 8-1 record going into break. Following close behind her were sophomore Kelly Sipp and senior Bianca Barr with records of 7-3 and 6-3, respectively. The ladies have had to cope with the loss of their star player, junior Kimiko Glynn, after an injury to her sciatic nerve early in the season.
The season thus far has been good for both teams. After the loss of their opening match against Malone, the men went on a six-game winning streak up until their tight loss against Baldwin-Wallace.
The women had a similar trend as they too went on a winning streak after losing their season opener, also against Baldwin-Wallace. Their streak lasted five games up until their loss at Ohio Wesleyan University, but they then won their next matches against Wittenberg and Mount Union to begin another streak.
As a result, both teams had an impressive record of 7-2 going into spring break, with the men at 2-0 in conference and the women at 1-1. Their trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina was a true test of their abilities as both teams fought against players from all over the country.
The men began with a tight match against Whitworth in outdoors competition on March 26. Battling against harsh winds, they won 5-4. They took two out of three of the doubles matches with Goldman and Midler winning at second doubles 8-1 while Zeyda and junior Tom Page won 8-4.
The next three wins came from Pray, Midler and Page in singles play. Pray won 6-0, 6-4, Midler 1-6, 6-0 (10-4), and Page with straight sets of 6-3. Without delay, the men then played against the Engineers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Yeomen were unable to grab a single win in doubles or singles, leaving them with a loss of 0-9.
The next day did not fare any better for the men as they played the University of Missouri-St Louis, losing 0-9. Though upset by the two losses, the men kept fighting hard, their last match being against University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Though the match still ended in a loss, Pray was able to beat 14th central region ranked Robin Borg 6-4, 7-6, leaving the final score 1-8 to end the tournament.
The women had an equally tough time in the tournament, beginning with a tough loss of 0-9 against Erskine for their first match. The women fared better the next morning against Whitworth. Though still ending in a loss of 3-6, the women were able to gain three wins, two in doubles and one in singles.
Sophomore Jane Hayden led the women in winning her singles match 6-2, 7-5, as well as winning her doubles match with twin sister Olivia 8-3. Barr and sophomore Elle Anzinger won the second doubles match 8-1.
The women played their last match against Whitewater on the March 29. Again, Jane Hayden led the women in singles, winning 6-2, 2-6, 10-3. Junior Jackie Golden and Sipp won their doubles match in the two spot 8-4.
Despite the hard losses over break, both teams kept a pretty confident mindset about things. “Our coach could have had us play some easier teams so we could win,” said Olivia Hayden, “but I really like playing three good teams…it made our weaknesses more evident and will help us more in our next matches.”
Pray seemed to echo this thought when asked for his take on the matches in Hilton Head. “It was good to experience tough competition…because we gain from it in the long run.” All in all, no one seemed down by the experience, but instead saw it as a learning experience.
The men went on to play The College of Wooster on April 3. The women then had their shot at the Fighting Scots the following day. The men had a tight loss of 4-5, with Midler and Burling picking up the wins in singles, 6-2, 7-6(7), and 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, respectively. In doubles, Pray and Burling played as the number one, winning 8-2 while Zeyda and Page won as the number three doubles 8-6.
The women successfully avenged the men’s loss with a shocking shut-out victory of 9-0 the following day. Singles were won by, in order of play, Barr, Anzinger, Golden, Olivia Hayden, Sipp and Jane Hayden. In doubles, Barr and Anzinger took the one, Golden and Sipp the two, and the Hayden sisters the three.
As of now, the men have a 7-6 overall record, with the women at 8-5. Both teams are currently 2-1 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.
Both teams are in action today: the women play two matches at the GLCA Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan, while the men play a conference match against Allegheny College, followed by a match with Case Western Reserve on the April 7.