Section: Sports

Men’s tennis faces top-ranked competition

Colin Haas
Courtesy of Kenyon Athletics

By Alex Pijanowski | Staff Writer

The Lords tennis team traveled to Georgia this past weekend to take part in the Emory University Invitational in Atlanta. The invite featured some of the nation’s top Division III tennis programs. Heading into the tournament, the Lords were ranked ninth in the nation and third regionally.

On Friday, March 28, the No. 9 Lords were felled by the Panthers of Middlebury College, which was the 10th-ranked team in the country at the time.

The next day, the Lords topped the DePauw University Tigers by a score of 5-3. Finally, on Sunday, Kenyon lost to the Emory Eagles in a very close 4-5 match.

In the Middlebury match, Sam Geier ’16 lost at No. 3 singles, which snapped his seven-game individual win streak.

Michael Razumovsky ’15 won the No. 2 singles match to extend his own streak to 14 games. Tim Rosensteel ’15, who earned the victory in his No. 4 singles match, represented the only other victory for Kenyon in that matchup.

Razumovsky added one more game to his win streak against DePauw by winning 6-1, 6-4 in the top singles slot.

Geier recovered from his loss the previous day to win No. 3 singles 6-0, 7-2, and Rosensteel won his No. 4 singles match 6-2, 7-5. Razumovsky contributed to another Kenyon victory at No. 2 doubles, teaming up with Wade Heerboth ’15 to win by a score of 8-5.

Despite a hard-fought No. 1 singles match, which had to be decided in three sets, Razumovsky’s run was halted by Emory.

Heerboth clinched the lone win for the Lords in singles by beating his Emory counterpart in No. 2 singles, 7-6, 6-2. But Kenyon’s doubles unit put in a strong showing, earning a win in No. 2 and No. 3 singles, which brought the final team score to 4-5. Kenyon lost to Emory by the same total in the ITA Indoor Championships in February.

Kenyon’s Middlebury loss was to a team which is ranked below them in the national rankings.

“I don’t really look at [the loss] as a setback,” Head Coach Scott Thielke said. “I look at it more as an eye-opener that we need to be a little readier, and able to play under pressure a little better.”

The return of Razumovsky to a more consistent role in the lineup has provided a major boost to the team’s attack.

Razumovsky, who is a two-time All-American, has been sidelined for much of this year with a back injury.

“It’s definitely really helpful to have him up at the top of the lineup,” Geier said. “Obviously, having him at full health, and the way that he plays, is a strength for our team.”

Thielke agreed with Geier’s assessment, as many of his players have had to miss time this season because of injury or illness.

“Everybody has been able to come back to playing now, with the exception of Rob Turlington [’16], who had a wrist problem,” Thielke said. “He has not been able to come back, but everybody else is back, and definitely making us a stronger team than we were.”

The Lords were scheduled to compete again tonight against Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pa., but the match has been rescheduled.

“[The cancellation] allows [the team] to get some rest, which is always nice, especially after having two-match packed weekends in a row,” Razumovsky wrote in an email. “Now we have to focus on getting ready for Denison this upcoming Tuesday, but besides getting some rest, [our approach] shouldn’t change much.”

Their next match will be Tuesday, April 8 against Denison University in Granville.

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