HILTON HEAD, S.C. – The Carleton College men’s tennis team dropped a pair of matches on day two of the squad’s annual Spring Break trip. The Knights were swept 9-0 by a nationally-ranked University of Chicago squad then absorbed a tough 5-4 setback against Graceland University.
The first defeat snapped the Knights’ eight-match win streak and was the first loss to a Division III program this season. "We ran into a very talented Chicago squad today,” said Carleton head coach Stephen Zweifel. “We had about as much success in trying to win a match as Sisyphus had with his rock." The Maroons are ranked No. 27 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll.
Andrew Hwang (Fy./Brookfield, Wis./University School) lost to Troy Brinker at first singles by a 6-4, 6-0 score in a matchup of regionally-ranked players. Those two also squared off at first doubles where Hwang and Dan Vollman (Sr./Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park River Forest)—ranked No. 15 in the region—dropped an 8-4 decision to the sixth-ranked tandem of Brinker and Jan Stefanski.
Peter Dunn (Sr./Winnetka, Ill./North Shore Country Day) sent his second singles match vs. No. 26 Stefanski to three sets before falling 3-6, 7-6, 10-4.
The Knights used a completely different lineup for the afternoon match, but a pair of three-set losses in singles play left Carleton on the wrong end of the outcome.
Carleton grabbed the early lead as Ben Huang (Fy./Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) and Nelson Wolf (So./Faibault, Minn./Shattuck-St. Mary's School) prevailed at second doubles, 9-7. Philip Xiao (Fy./Chino Hills, Calif./Troy) and Paul Elbow (Fy./Madison, Wis./Madison East) had a much easier time at third doubles, posting an 8-1 victory.
Huang and Matthew Ta (Fy./Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley) both sent their singles matches to a third set, but each went into the Yellowjackets’ column. Ta lost 6-1, 6-7, 10-7 at third singles, while Huang was on the short end of a 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 result.
Wolf notched a decisive 6-1, 6-0 triumph at fourth singles and Mauricio Gonzalez (Fy./La Paz, Bolivia/American Cooperative School) prevailed 6-0, 6-1 at the fifth spot.
"We had our chances against Graceland, but were just unable to close the deal,” Zweifel said. “However, we had some great individual performances in Mauricio and Nelson. Like a pair of crows in a junkyard, those two boys can always spot the shiny object."
After five matches in two days, the Knights will enjoy a day away from competition and spend Wednesday at the beach before playing matches versus University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Hobart College on Thursday, March 22.