Tennis teams fall to rival IWU

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Steve Nafziger | Echo

The Taylor men’s and women’s tennis teams fell to the rival Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats this week. The men finished with a final score of 8-1, while the women claimed two singles victories but fell short 7-2.

“We have work to do, but it is clear that we have the potential to improve,” said women’s head coach Jini Morgan.

The women battled hard, keeping most matches closely contested. The two victories came from freshman Sarah Smith in the No. 4 singles spot, as she won in three sets (6-3, 2-6, 1-0) and No. 6 singles senior Tara Gnagy as she beat her opponent 7-6, 6-2.

“I am very proud of the heart our girls showed in our match against IWU,” Morgan said. “We won on two singles courts and pressed them on two other singles courts.”

At No. 2 singles, freshman Katherine Marquez won her first set 6-4, but then lost a close set 5-7 and was defeated on a ten point tie-break third set. The Wildcats swept the Trojans in the three doubles matches, but Taylor played tough the entire match.

Taylor’s lone victory came from No. 6 singles, where freshman Chris Robbins, in a 7-6(5), 6-4 win, got his second victory in three starts.

IWU took an early 3-0 lead as the doubles teams swept the Trojans, including a tightly-contested 8-6 loss at the No. 3 spot by seniors Cameron Boehning and Brad Caldwell. The Wildcats also claimed the top five singles spots. Sophomore Carter Perry was the only Trojan to force three sets in those top five spots.

“We need to improve on the execution of fundamental skills, and we need to get tougher mentally so that we can play our best in close matches,” said men’s head coach Don Taylor.

The women’s squad was slated to play Thursday afternoon against Grace but the match was postponed due to weather.

The men will be back in action tomorrow at 9 a.m. as they host Indiana Tech, while the women look to bounce back tomorrow at 2 p.m. as they host Bethel College.

 

Feature Photograph by Timothy P. Riethmiller