For the 11th straight year, Lords Tennis has won the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) tournament, defeating The College of Wooster, Denison University and Depauw University en route to the conference title.
“The main focus of this tournament was to take it one round at a time,” Weston Noall ’18 said. “We needed to focus on the individual things that each of us could do to get a win on our courts.”
In the first round against Wooster, the Lords dominated their competition and advanced to the next round 5-1. Needing just three more points to clinch the match with a 2-1 lead from doubles, Henry Barrett ’19, Nicholas Paolucci ’19 and Tristan Kaye ’17 delivered for the Lords in singles play to move to the next round.
Against rival Denison, the Lords dominated in a similar fashion. After breezing past their first two opponents, the Lords moved on to face the number one seeded DePauw Tigers.
After doubles play Kenyon found themselves in unfamiliar territory, down 2-1.
“Our main goal was to get one doubles point,” Noall said. “We knew they were an all-around solid doubles team, but we were confident about the match-ups in singles.”
The Lords’ confidence showed in singles play as the Lords rolled over the Tigers with four straight wins. Zalenski was the first win for the Lords in single play, beating his opponent in two sets 6-3, 6-0. Following Zalenski’s win, Kaye and Paolucci also posted wins for the Lords, winning 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-4, respectively. Needing only one point to win, Noall delivered for the Lords, winning a tight match in two sets 7-5, 6-3 and delivering the Lords their 11th straight NCAC title.
While the Lords have won this title for the past 15 years, a conference win this year was not certain. “This season was the first one where we didn’t think it would be as automatic as it usually is, so it meant a lot to us to take home the cup,” Noall said.
“A lot of people thought we would be weaker this year and we wouldn’t be able to win conference, but we proved them wrong and we are looking to prove ourselves again in the NCAA tournament,” Michael Liu ’18 added.
The Lords, in the midst of Kenyon’s 15th consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament selection, eagerly await the schedule for the tournament.