Kenyon men’s tennis concluded their fall season with a strong showing at the three day Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regional Championship over the Sept. 29 weekend in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Lords won 11 of 12 firstround singles matches as Austin Diehl ’20 advanced the farthest a Kenyon player has since 2013.
In singles competition, Diehl, Jacob Zalenski ’20 and Nicholas Paolucci ’19 led the Lords.
Diehl won his first match over Joshua Woo from Wheaton College in three sets, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 and stormed past Depauw University’s Bryce McClanahan in straight sets 6-4, 6-0. In the round of 32, Diehl topped Oberlin College’s Stephen Gruppuso in three sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, which placed him in the round of 16, where he continued his winning streak, defeating University of Chicago’s Justin Lee 6-3, 6-3. But Diehl’s winning streak was ended by another University of Chicago player, Alejandro Rodriguez, to whom he lost a three-hour, three-set match 6-1, 2-6, 4-6.
Zalenski earned two straight-set wins against opponents from Wheaton and John Carroll University 6-0, 6-4; 6-3, 6-2 respectively. Paolucci rounded out the best performances for the Lords with a round of 16 appearance.
Paolucci shut out his first round opponent from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in straight sets 6-0, 6-0 en route to the round of 16. Paolucci then defeated Jai Redkar from Allegheny College 6-3, 7-6(5) and Oberlin’s Michael Drougas 6-3, 6-4. Paolucci’s run ended in the round of 16 when he was defeated in three sets by Case Western Reserve University’s Sam Concannon.
In doubles competition, the Lords collected two wins from the Max Smith ’18-Anatol Doroskevic ’19 and Diehl-Zalenski pairs.
The Lords’ most impressive doubles performance came from Weston Noall ’18 and Alex Rieger ’18, who rattled off three wins against pairs from John Carroll, Greenville University and Denison University, winning 8-1, 8-5, 8-3, respectively. The senior pairing was defeated in the quarterfinal round 8-5 from a University of Chicago pairing.
“This tournament revealed a lot of our strengths but also our weaknesses and what we should improve on in the offseason,” Smith said. “We have identified these weaknesses and will work on them, so we can regain our spot as one of the best teams in the nation in the spring.”
With a solid ending to the Lords’ fall season, the team now looks to keep the momentum for what they hope to be a long spring season.