NORTHFIELD, Minn. – A full day of action on the Bell Field Tennis Courts resulted in a pair of conference triumphs for the Carleton College men’s tennis team. The Knights swept Concordia College, 9-0, and finished with an 8-1 victory over Hamline University.
"We knew we were in for a long day of tennis, and the guys responded by playing as dangerous as a box of steak knives in a life raft," said Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel.
Against Concordia, the Knights swept all three doubles matches, although two were in doubt for quite a while. Dan Vollman (Sr./Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) and Jon Aranda (Sr./Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) notched a 9-7 victory at first doubles, while Philip Xiao (Fy./Chino Hills, Calif./Troy) and Ben Huang (Fy./Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) came out on top at the third spot, 8-6.
All six singles matches were decided in straight sets. Vollman and Matthew Ta (Fy./Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley) recorded the most decisive victories at the second and third slots as each won 6-1 and 6-1.
Carleton (14-3 overall) improved to 4-0 in conference play with the win over Hamline. The Pipers lone point came from first doubles as Andrew Lutz and reigning MIAC tennis athlete-of-the-week Bernard Mitambo edged the Knights’ pairing of Peter Dunn (Sr./Winnetka, Ill./North Shore Country Day) and Paul Cooper (Jr./Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale Central) by a 9-8 score. The other two doubles contests went comfortably into the Carleton column.
Dunn got his revenge at first singles as he won 6-1, 3-6, and 11-9 to halt Mitambo’s nine-match win streak. "Peter had the premier singles match of the day, fighting off two match points and tapping his ample supply of stubbornness,” explained Zweifel. “His heartfelt rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger” whipped the fans into a frenzy."
Encouraged by Dunn’s resiliency, the rest of the Carleton lineup took care of business in straight sets as no Knight dropped more than four games in the match.
The Knights will have nearly two weeks to get ready for their next match, which comes on Friday, April 13 at Saint Mary’s University.