Weekend split once again for men’s tennis

Photo: Ryan Woodham

Derik Wuchte

Men’s tennis went 1-1 this weekend with a win against Davidson College and a loss against the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Certain factors helped in giving the Eagles their win on Saturday. Likewise, unaccounted ones contributed to how they lost the next day. There are always reasons that decide if a team obtains victory. Five reasons for why the Eagles won and lost follow.

1. Good: Home-field Advantage

For the past 10 meets, the Eagles have been playing away. On Saturday, they were back at the Wallis Tennis Center in Statesboro. Although the meet scheduled for Friday had to be pushed back to Saturday, the Eagles were ready. The early morning rise for the meet at 9:00 am did not deter them against Davidson. Solid performances and a strong finish in doubles secured the points needed for the Eagles to win 4-3.

2. Bad: Good starts, but unfortunate finishes

Seizing every opportunity in a match is not an easy trial. To be near victory, but not close enough to reach it, is especially difficult. When playing against UNCG on Sunday, some matches drew close while others slipped by. Senior Marco Osorio managed to win the first set against sophomore Daniel Mack. In the next set, Osorio lost the tiebreaker. That gave Mack enough energy to close out the third set against him. Similarly, junior Albert Codina Sala and senior Oliver Webb were competitive in their first sets as they only lost by one and two points. Not being able to fully bounce back kept the Eagles from turning their matches around and winning.

3. Good: Key players chiming in

The success against Davidson on Saturday indicated a good sign. Hard fought matches were pulled out by the veteran Eagles on the team. Osorio in the No. 4 spot defeated sophomore Evan Watkins 6-1, 6-4. Codina Sala in the No. 3 spot capitalized against senior Ethan Kallick by defeating him 6-1, 6-2. To give the Eagles their third team point, Webb defeated senior Robert Lightbourn 7-5, 6-4. It came down to the doubles competition to get the third point. This was where the Eagles swept Davidson. They won the team point, thus securing their win over Davidson. Webb and freshman Christian Kerrigan won in their team match, 8-6. Junior Kyle Hoffman and freshman Nico DeGroof were also in sync as they won, 8-6. Osorio and Codina Sala followed the winning pattern in doubles with their victory, 8-4.

4. Bad: Tough opponent in UNCG

The 7-2 UNCG Spartans were a formidable team to match. Coming off a 7-0 team victory against the 3-8 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, they had momentum in their favor. Being able to secure the doubles point early against the Eagles affected them. It did not keep the Eagles from trying their hardest in singles play. Hoffman in the No. 3 spot kept sophomore Gaston Murray working in a close second set, but letting the first set pass him by unfortunately caught up to him. DeGroof led most of the first set in his match against sophomore James Flynn at the No. 6 spot. Unable to close it out, he could not secure the set, which, in turn, led to his defeat in the second set.

5. Good: Winning against Southern Conference opponents

Since Southern Conference play started, the Eagles have gone 2-2. They have taken the very high road after the seven-game losing streak they suffered at the beginning of the season. Being able to turn themselves around is quite a feat. With each meet, especially those against SoCon opponents, meaning so much to their season, the Eagles cannot let any win give them too much confidence or any loss slow them down too drastically.

The Eagles will be having another home meet this Thursday, March 13, at 2 p.m. They will be facing Gardner-Webb University at the Wallis Tennis Center.