Lords tennis recovered from a narrow Saturday loss to the Carnegie Mellon University Tartans by defeating the Allegheny College Gators and the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops on Sunday afternoon. With the 2-1 weekend, the Lords improved their overall record to 8-10. Their two victories on Sunday also marked the opening of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) portion of their season, meaning the Lords have started 2-0 in conference play.
Sunday was a dominant performance overall for the men’s team, as they bulldozed Allegheny 9-0 before cruising to a 7-2 victory against OWU. As evidenced by their clean sweep, the win over Allegheny was a team effort. In the victory, Austin Diehl ’20 picked up his 13th singles victory of the season at No. 3 singles, winning 6-0 twice in a demonstration of his athletic talent. Diehl also won at No. 2 doubles while paired with Ben Gelfand ’18. Jacob Zalenski ’20 clinched the match for the Lords when his victory at No. 2 singles put the Lords up 5-0. The match was the second time the Lords have shut out their opponents this season — they defeated the Colby-Sawyer College Chargers 9-0 on March 17 during their spring break trip to Florida.
Hours later, the Lords cruised against OWU on their way to a victory. As they did against Allegheny, Kenyon jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, winning all three doubles matches and the first four singles matches. Unfortunately, they were unable to complete the clean sweep, as the Battling Bishops battled their way to narrow victories in both No. 1 and No. 2 singles to prevent the Lords shutting them out. While two matches by no means provide an accurate prediction for how they will play in the NCAC, the Lords have had no trouble so far with their conference opponents.
Prior to their rout of the two aforementioned teams on Sunday, the Lords narrowly lost 5-4 to No. 7 ranked Carnegie Mellon despite nearly pulling off the upset. Michael Liu ’18 gave the Lords a 4-3 lead with a victory at No. 4 singles, but the Lords were unable to hold onto their narrow lead. The Tartans won the final two matches to avoid the upset and send the Lords home with a bittersweet taste in their mouth.
“We were so close to winning the Carnegie [Mellon] match,” Liu said on Wednesday. “We are a young team and we have improved over the course of the season, but we need to be more clutch on those big points.”
The Lords will next play on Tuesday, when they host The College of Wooster at 4:30 p.m. on the Vanderberg Courts in their third NCAC match of the season.