The Lords tennis team returned to the court in style this past weekend for the beginning of their spring season, winning 5-2 over the University of Northwestern Ohio Racers of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Lords, who began the season ranked 11th in NCAA Division III, were hosted by the Racers, and therefore played under NAIA rules. The team who won two out of three doubles matches earned a point, while each singles victory was rewarded with a point.
In doubles, Jacob Zalenski ’20 started his final spring campaign with a bang, securing a 6-4 doubles victory alongside fellow senior Austin Diehl over Marcos Salazar and Sergio Conde. Bryan Yoshino ’21 and Evan Dean ’23 were victorious in their own doubles match, beating their Racers opponents in another close match, 6-4, in the third flight. With two victories in the doubles category, Kenyon earned a 1-0 lead.
Northwestern Ohio put an even stronger fight on the singles side. Four out of six matches went into a deciding third set. Luis Andres Platas ’23 was the only Lord to win his match in straight sets, as he controlled the proceedings throughout en route to a 6-4, 6-2 win in the No. 4 slot over Malik Omarkhanov. At No. 3, Pascal Lee ’22 came back from a set down to beat Martin Stanchev, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Diehl fell in a tough three-set match to Conde, but Zalenski and Yoshino managed tough victories that also went three sets to give Kenyon the overall victory 5-2.
The Lords will again travel away from Gambier in their upcoming matches, this time to Indiana to play both DePauw University and Wabash College on Saturday.
The Ladies tennis team traveled to Ada, Ohio this past weekend to face off against the University of Northwestern Ohio in their first meet of the spring season.
Entering the season, Kenyon began their season ranked No. 14 nationally and No. 2 in the region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and they certainly lived up to their ranking in their first match. Showing little rust, Kenyon dominated with a 7-0 win, playing under National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) rules. The visitors won all of their nine matches and dropped just one total set.
Kenyon especially excelled in doubles, where they lost just five of 23 games overall. The duo of Daria Beshentseva ’22 and Erika Oku ’21 shut out their opponents Camila Puente and Veronica Rydstrom 6-0 in the No. 1 slot. In an equally stellar showing, Ilana Blackwood ’21 and Anna Winslow ’22 secured a third-flight win, 6-1. Erika Pontillo ’23 and Kayla Pukys ’21 completed the doubles sweep, winning 6-4 over Ellen Sandstrom and Lena Tessmer.
In singles, the Ladies continued their top-notch play. In the top-seed match, Oku struggled in the first set, losing 6-2, but bounced back nicely with a come-from-behind victory over Puente.
Kenyon won the remainder of the singles matches handily, which included a 6-0, 6-0 win for Winslow in the No. 5 slot. Beshentseva, Blackwood, Pukys and Megan Collins ’20 all added straight-set wins for the Ladies, as the Racers simply could not keep pace.
The season will continue for Kenyon on Sunday, when they travel to Greencastle, Ind. to face DePauw University at 2 p.m.