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Knights take down Tommies, clinch first-round bye

April 24, 2014 at 1:15 am

LAKEVILLE, Minn. — Christian Nagy (So./Fairway, Kan./Pembroke Hill School) figured in victories in both singles and doubles as the Carleton College men’s tennis team posted a 6-3 victory over University of St. Thomas on Wednesday evening. The triumph secured a first-round bye for the Knights in the upcoming MIAC Playoffs.

"We have a long history of competitive and exciting matches with St. Thomas, and tonight was no exception,” said Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel. “It took some inspired play to battle back after the doubles matches against such a quality opponent."

Trailing 2-1 after doubles, Carleton responded with victories in five of the six singles matches and improved to 15-7 on the season and 7-0 in conference.

Ezra Frankel (Fy./Lincoln, Mass./Belmont Hill School) helped build the momentum for the Knights with his 6-0, 6-0 triumph at sixth singles. It was his 12th victory in 15 singles matches this year.

"Ezra was as ruthless and relentless in his quest for a victory that I thought I was watching an episode of ‘Game of Thrones’," said Zweifel.

While McCoy Becker (Sr./Ojai, Calif./Thacher School), Mauricio Gonzalez (Jr./La Paz, Bolivia/American Cooperative School), and Patton McClelland (Fy./Rock Hill, S.C./Charlotte Latin School) would all end up prevailing in their singles matches as well, it was the play of Nagy that stole the spotlight on Wednesday.

He teamed with Frankel for an 8-3 victory at third doubles. Nagy then rallied from a set down to prevail second singles by a 2-6, 6-4, 10-5 ledger.

“Although Christian's first set went as well as one of Dennis Rodman’s diplomacy trips, I give the kid from Kansas a lot of credit for fighting his way back into the match and pulling out the victory,” Zweifel said.

Tonight’s result ensured the Knights will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the conference tournament depending on the result of Saturday’s match at Gustavus Adolphus, the other squad undefeated in MIAC play this season. That match begins at 12 p.m. on April 26.