LAKEVILLE, Minn. — The Carleton College men’s tennis team wrapped up the regular season with a 6-3 victory over Macalester College on Sunday night. The Knights (16-8, 8-1 MIAC) trailed after the doubles portion of the match but came back in singles behind the play of the rookies.
"We faced one of the best Macalester squads in recent history, and we were fortunate to escape with a victory tonight," said Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel.
The Scots (8-8, 4-5 MIAC) grabbed the early lead with 8-6 wins at both first and third doubles. Christian Nagy (So./Fairway, Kan./Pembroke Hill School) and Ezra Frankel (Fy./Lincoln, Mass./Belmont Hill School) salvaged a point for Carleton with their 8-4 victory at the second spot.
Zweifel had four freshman in the singles starting lineup, and the quartet responded to the coach’s confidence by going 3-1. Frankel prevailed 6-3, 7-5 while Nikita Fomichev (Fy./Elkhorn, Neb./Elkhorn South) notched a 6-1, 6-4 victory at fifth singles.
The most dominating performance of the group of rookies came from Mark Conrad (Fy./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong), who did not drop a game in winning his fifth straight singles match.
"Mark's resemblance to a honey badger is more than just physical,” Zweifel said. “He can really dig in and cause some trouble with his aggressive play."
Nagy notched a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles, and Erik Johnson (So./Grand Forks, N.D./Red River) battled back to pull out a tough win at first singles. Johnson dropped the opening set before taking the match 3-6, 6-3, 10-3.
The Knights are the second seed in this week’s six-team MIAC Playoffs. Carleton earned a first-round bye and hosts a semifinal match on Friday, May 2 versus an opponent to be determined. That contest begins at 4:30 p.m.