This past weekend, the Kenyon College men’s tennis team made the trek to St. Peter, Minn. for the ITA Championship. The competition was tough, and the very fact that the Lords were playing in this tournament proved them to be worthy contenders. However, the Lords struggled to rise up against their opponents; Kenyon fell 5-4 to the University of Chicago (UChicago), 7-2 to Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and 5-4 to Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.).
Despite being unable to claim a victory at the championship, the Lords were persistent in their individual sets and continued to put forth their best effort over the course of the weekend.
In the first round, the No. 11-ranked Lords faced the No. 4-ranked UChicago Maroons. UChicago got a head start with their doubles play, winning two of three flights. Partners Pascal Lee ’22 and Luis Andres Platas ’23 gained a doubles victory for the Lords at 8-7 in the second flight. The singles matches proved to be more tightly contested: Team captain Jacob Zalenski ’20 defeated Joshua Xu in the first singles match and teammates Austin Diehl ’20 and Lee also won their respective sets.
The following day, the Lords faced No. 12-ranked Case Western. The CWRU Spartans won all three doubles flights and four out of the six singles flights. Zalenski snagged another victory in his match at the top flight, defeating the Spartan’s James Hopper, 7-6, 7-6.
Finally, the Lords concluded the weekend by playing Gustavus Adolphus College. As was the case against UChicago and Case Western, doubles were Kenyon’s downfall. Partners Brian Yoshino ’21 and Lee, in the third flight spot, were the Lords’ only victorious doubles team. Yoshino also stood out in singles, tying up the score for Kenyon by beating Gustavus Adolphus’ Daniel Fouchier 6-0 and 6-3. At the first singles spot, Zalenski gained a victory as well. Aided by the additional triumph of Thomas Kallarakal ’23, Kenyon was within match point of snatching the win. Even after reaching a third-set tiebreaker, Kenyon was unable to clinch the victory and finished the weekend with a combined record of 3-9 in the third through sixth singles spots.
The Lords will take another long journey on March 7 when they venture to Lake Nona, Fla. to face the University of Mary Washington (Va.).