The men’s tennis team extended their win streak to 10 this past Sunday against Wheaton College to put them at a 10-1 record on the year.
The Wheaton Lyons, who lost the match 5-2, now stand at 11-2 this season. They were previously ranked as high as ninth in the Northeast.
Action started as the Lions took two out of the three doubles matches to receive the point against the Lyons. Sophomore co-captain Ryan Carty and sophomore Corey Ball came from behind to defeat sophomore Payum Payman and junior Matt Sheers 8-6 in an energetic first doubles match.
In second doubles, junior co-captain Justin Cook and freshman Michael Klimchak beat junior Nick Potter and freshman Jared Karlebach 8-3. Seniors Ken Tsui and Victor Lai then fell to sophomores Brad Dressler and Brian Danishevesky 8-4.
In singles play, the Lions experienced more drama than they had hoped for. In first singles, Carty beat Payman 6-1 in the first set. Payman battled back in the second to reach a 5-2 game score. Carty then rallied, with the help of his cheering teammates, to come from behind and beat Payman 7-5 in the second set.
After Carty’s match, Payman was overheard calling the Lions obnoxious and rude. He blamed his loss on their cheers and admitted to struggling because of the pressure.
“I think it’s great (that Payman felt that way) because we are not a ‘rude’ team, we are just well aware of how much pressure it puts on the opposing player,” freshman Donald Pollosco said. “Its done intentionally to motivate our players as well as get into the opponent’s head, and it works.”
Pollosco had a dramatic match against Karlebach in sixth singles. Pollosco lost the first set 6-3 but gained momentum as he took the second set 6-2. Suddenly, in the middle of the third set, Pollosco began to falter. He tumbled to the ground due to cramping and heat exhaustion.
Already up 4-1, Pollosco refused to stop and played through the pain. Not able to go after short hits or be as quick as normal, Pollosco still managed to continue his drive and overpowered his opponent to beat him 6-2 in the third set.
After the final hit, Karlebach grew furious with his loss and hurled his racket far over the tennis court fence. He was led out of the complex by a teammate. “It was a little much,” Pollosco said. “I would have been pissed too, but that was crazy.”
“I took (Karlebach) aside and explained to him that a lot of these kids have tempers out here, but he has to learn how to control it,” Lions head coach Scott Dicheck said. “He’s a freshman and he has a good career ahead of him if he can control it.”
Singles matches were also won by Klimchak and Ball to give the Lions the win.
“The win was definitely a confidence boost for the team because they knew the importance of it and it put pressure on them, but they were ready for it,” Dicheck said. “We just do what we practice and these are the kind of matches we love to have.”
Women’s tennis also beat Wheaton by a socre of 6-3. The win puts the Lions at 12-3 on the year and drops the Lyons to 8-8.
The Lions began by taking two of the three doubles matches to go up 2-1 in the match. Both second and third doubles won their matches 8-1. Senior Katie D’Amato and sophomore Kristen Turturiello claimed the second doubles match while sophomores Karen Shih and Ayumi Yamazaki took the third doubles win.
In singles play, the Lions captured four of the six matches to receive the win. Two of these wins were come-from-behind victories for the Lions.
Turturiello overcame sophomore Jamie Weiss 7-6 in the tiebreaker, then 6-2 in the second set. Turturiello was down 5-2 in the first set but came back to declare her victory in second singles.
In sixth singles, sophomore Jackie Prybylkowski endured a 6-1 loss in the first set, but never fell behind for the next two sets to win the match 1-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Yamazaki trounced senior Maris Madeira in third singles 6-0, 6-1, and D’Amato crushed sophomore Eden Gudonis in fourth singles to win 6-1, 6-1.
“I was really happy that we won today against Wheaton,” Yamazaki said. “We had several close matches these past few weeks and we definitely needed to win today.”
On Saturday, the Lions women lost to Vassar College, 6-3. Wins were received by Turturiello and D’Amato in second doubles, Shih and Yamazaki in third doubles and Yamazaki in third singles.
Yamazaki was the only player on the women’s side to remain undefeated throughout the weekend for the Lions.
“It was the best team we played all year,” Dicheck said. “We knew it would be a tough, challenging match but I think we played well.”
Men’s tennis also faced Vassar and defeated them 6-1. The loss gives Vassar a 5-5 record on the year.
Last Tuesday, the Lions faced the Fords of Haverford College. The team went 7-0 in the match, never losing a single set to the Fords. Haverford dropped to 2-5 after the match.
Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams will play their next match on April 17 at Skidmore College. Men’s tennis will host Bates College on April 18.