By Connor Smith
Social Media Editor
The men’s tennis team hit the road on Saturday, March 5, to compete in its first away match of the year against Haverford College. The Lions captured a 6-3 victory, which was set up by an early sweep of the doubles competition.
“Any time you go on the road, the surface can have a bigger difference,” head coach Scott Dicheck said. “We got there early to adjust to the different playing surfaces and the guys adjusted well.”
Juniors Jack August and Mike Stanley returned to action on court one. With an impressive 3-0 record at risk, both juniors were ready to defend their budding undefeated streak. The Haverford duo kept the matchup close with an early 3-2 score, however, August’s and Stanley’s synergy was on full display as the Lions claimed a court one victory with an 8-3 score.
Senior Pierce Cooper tested out the new blood as the veteran paired up with freshman Mitchel Sanders on court two. With a decisive 8-4 victory, Cooper brought himself another win closer to being fourth all-time in the College’s record books for combined singles and doubles career wins. At 115 wins, Cooper trails ’06 alumnus Corey Ball’s 124 wins by just nine victories.
The College’s deep pool of young talent was well represented. Freshmen Matt Puig and Tim Gavornik combined to win an 8-1 victory, bringing the Lions’s lead to 3-0 at the end of doubles competition.
“It was the best we’ve played doubles all season,” Dicheck said. “We really won convincingly in all three.”
Haverford struck its first blood in singles by defeating Cooper in straight sets (4-6, 4-6). Sanders avenged his partner’s loss with a two set victory of his own (7-5, 6-3).
Haverford proved its resilience on court three by overcoming a tiebreaker with a one set deficit to upset August (6-4, 6-7 (7), 2-6). After another three set win on court four, Haverford began to show signs of momentum.
Facing his third 4-3 score of the season, freshman Omar Bokhari dashed any hopes of a Haverford comeback with wins in three sets (4-6, 7-5, 6-3). Bokhari improved to 4-0 on the year, already establishing himself as a gatekeeper for his team’s late-match hopes.
With a Lion victory clinched, sophomore Chris D’Agostino battled for a win in straight sets (6-4, 6-4) to hand Haverford its first loss of the year, 6-3.
The men’s tennis team will return to action on Tuesday, March 29, when players will take on Muhlenberg College at home.
While the men’s team will have over three weeks to prepare for their next dual competition, the women’s tennis team will open its spring season on Friday, March 11, when the women take on Division II opponents, Chestnut Hill College.
“(The women) have a very challenging schedule to get us ready for May,” Dicheck said. “Now we can test ourselves as much as possible to prepare for NCAA’s.”