Section: Sports

Paths split for Kenyon tennis squads

Alex Pijanowski, sports editor

Kenyon’s tennis teams concluded their respective North Coast Athletic Conference championship tournaments last weekend, albeit with different results — the men placed first, the women fourth.

The Lords blanked Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) at home on Friday, April 25, and dispatched Allegheny College by a 6-1 count the following morning. They then traveled to Granville, Ohio to appear in the conference championship against DePauw University in one of the most thrilling matches of the year.

In the DePauw match, the Lords lost all three doubles matches, falling into a hole before singles play began. However, Wade Heerboth ’15 showed why he plays No. 1 singles by defeating DePauw’s Sam Miles to claim Kenyon’s first win of the match. Sam Geier ’16, always a model of consistency, won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.

Head Coach Scott Thielke commented that “Nick Fiaschetti [‘17] … clinched the conference championship … to be under that much pressure, and be a freshman … is a good sign,” he said. Fiaschetti won at No. 5 singles against DePauw’s Chris Bertolini, 7-5, 7-5.

“When you go down 3-0 after doubles, you generally have about a two-percent chance of winning that match,” Thielke said. “That’s why coming and winning that match is just an impressive thing for our guys to do.”

Speaking of Nationals, Heerboth said, “When we go in and play [at] Nationals now, it will be totally pressure-free. We already got to where we were expected to get, and anything else is bonus.”

The Ladies did not match this come-from-behind success, but earned a respectable fourth-place finish.

After defeating Allegheny College by a 5-1 score on Friday in Gambier, they traveled to Granville to play DePauw. After losing that match 5-0, the Ladies lost by the same score to Oberlin College in the third-place game. However, neither 5-0 score is fully indicative of their performance.

“We were playing to decision, which means you stop immediately when one team [wins] five matches,” Co-Captain Abby Younger ’15 said. “We had to stop where three of [our] girls in singles were ahead, and I think [we] probably would have won those matches.”

The team’s record of 9-12 is a seeming departure from the 2012-13 finish of 14-5. However, this comparison is not entirely fair, as the caliber of teams on the schedule this year was much higher. “We beat the teams that we were supposed to beat this year, and we lost to the teams we were supposed to lose to,” Thielke said.

The Ladies never had a winning streak longer than three games this year. Jenna Murray ’17 said, “The way the schedule was set up, it was difficult to have a winning streak.”

While the season left something to be desired, it offered opportunities for improvement. “Personally, I want to have a better record than I had this year, and … get into the national rankings,” Murray said. “I want us to get back to the national rankings — we can probably be top 20.”

Taylor Diffley ’16, who played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles, said that the team’s success next year depends upon offseason preparation.

“I think [it is] key, for not only me but the whole entire team to take advantage of the summer,” Diffley said. “The talent and the potential to be great is there — it’s just a matter of how hard we’re willing to work.”

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