Esteban Bachelet, Sports Assistant
Despite losing seven games this week, the Lords tennis team walks with confidence. All seven losses were against nationally-ranked opponents.
After dispatching North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) foe Allegheny College 7-2 last Thursday and losing to ninth-ranked Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on Saturday, the No. 11 Lords are 3-0 in conference heading into this Saturday’s NCAC tournament. Kenyon also boasts a 15-7 overall record, which earned the team the top seed in the conference.
“For us, it’s very normal to play a lot of ranked teams; we usually play anywhere from eight to 15 ranked teams every year,” Head Coach Scott Thielke said. “And one of the reasons the program has done as well as it has is that we always play the toughest competition that we can.”
Unranked Allegheny presented more of a test than in recent years.
“We know all of their players; they are a good team,” Colin Haas ’15, who won his singles and doubles matches, said.
Three Lords players won their singles and doubles matches, including Haas, Nick Fiaschetti ’17 and Wade Heerboth ’15. The Gators kept all matches close, yet the Lords were able to finish the day with a 7-2 win.
But the tables turned on Saturday. This time, the Lords came into the match against the No. 9 Tartans as underdogs.
“We have a bit of a rivalry with them,” Haas said. “We knew it would be a tough match.”
Haas once again won both his doubles and singles matches. Heerboth paired with Haas on the lone doubles win. Thielke praised Haas’s play.
“He’s really beginning to stand out for us as one of our strong players we can depend on, so that was a real positive,” Thielke said.
CMU, however, won every match not involving Haas.
“We just got outplayed,” Thielke said. “They played a better match than us. I don’t feel like there is anything specific that we need to do differently.”
The Lords will now take on Ohio Wesleyan University to kick off the NCAC tournament. They are expecting a challenge from some good teams along the way, but are confident in their ability as they’ve won the conference tournament the last seven years in a row.
“I know that we have to play it, but I feel confident that we’ll do well,” Thielke said. “We’re hoping that history will help us a little bit too.”