Section: Sports

Lords tennis shows skill at ITA

The Lords tennis team had a successful showing at the 2015 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Region Championship over the weekend, as the team sent two singles players and two doubles teams to the semifinals of their respective brackets.

Among the five Kenyon doubles teams that competed in the ITA tournament, which featured 34 Division III schools, two Kenyon teams made it to semifinals. Sam Geier ’16 and Tristan Kaye ’17 advanced to the semifinals in one bracket, while Nick Fiaschetti ’17 and Nicholas Paolucci ’19 advanced to the semis on the other side of the bracket. Out of 128 teams, Kenyon was one of three schools represented in the semifinal round. They were joined by the University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve University.

In singles play, Geier and Fiaschetti both won their first three matches and made it to the round 16. Geier, who received National Collegiate Athletic Association All-American honors for the 2014-15 season, was seeded number three this past weekend. Fiaschetti was seeded number 28. Also in singles, Max Smith ’18 and Michael Liu ’18 advanced to the singles consolation quarterfinals and finals, respectively. However, due to time constraints, Liu’s final match against Peter Harris of Baldwin Wallace University was postponed.

In addition to the ITA Central Region Championship, Kenyon also sent four students to compete in the St. Louis Collegiate tournament, a sister tournament hosted also hosted by Washington University in St. Louis. Darius Loghman-Adham ’19 made it to the quarterfinals in singles and Smith, paired with Caleb Couvertier ’18, advanced to the doubles semifinal round.

Head Coach Scott Thielke said he was proud of the team’s work over the weekend. “Our doubles play was really strong,” Thielke wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We were the only school to have two teams in the final four. Nick [Paolucci] will be a great addition to the team. He should be a starter not only in doubles, but also singles.”

Geier, a team captain, also felt good about the  weekend tournament. “It’s been a couple long days, but it’s been a lot of fun,” Geier said. The team drove down to St. Louis early Thursday morning, where they were met by hot and humid weather. The 16-person squad stayed Thursday through Sunday and returned Sunday night before finals the next day.

Before being interviewed on Saturday, Geier had just lost in the ITA singles round of 16; however, he remained optimistic for the remaining matches. “In dubs we’ve got two teams in the semis,” Geier said. “We’ve got a good chance that both of us will make it to the finals, which would be really cool.”

Although the Lords’ doubles did not make it to finals, they returned to Gambier after this last tournament of the season feeling confident. “We hope to remain one of the top teams nationally and regionally, but that will require a great deal of work,” Thielke said. “Losing as many starters as we did this past year is always tough, but the showing in the ITA Tournament is encouraging.” The Lords next compete in Februrary, when the team will begin their spring season.

The Ladies team will participate in the women’s portion of the ITA tournament from Oct. 2-5 at Kalamazoo College (Kalamazoo, Mich.).

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