HILTON HEAD, S.C. — The Carleton College men’s tennis went 1-1 on the final day of play on the team’s annual spring break trip. After dropping a 7-2 result to national No. 29 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the Knights closed their South Carolina spree with a 9-0 triumph over Concordia University Wisconsin.
The match against UW-Whitewater was closer than the final tally would make it appear. Christian Nagy (So./Fairway, Kan./Pembroke Hill School) and Ezra Frankel (Fy./Lincoln, Mass./Belmont Hill School) prevailed at third doubles, 8-5, leaving the Warhawks with a 2-1 advantage when play shifted to singles.
Four of the six singles matches went to a third-set tiebreaker, with McCoy Becker (Sr./Ojai, Calif./Thacher School) the lone Knight able to pull out the victory. After a dismal start to the match, he rallied back to prevail 1-6, 6-4, 10-6.
"Sitting through a banjo and accordion concert would have been more enjoyable than watching McCoy's first set,” said Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel. “But he used his experience and managed to figure out a way to get back into the match."
Zweifel used the Concordia match as an opportunity to showcase the depth of the Knights’ roster.
Frankel and Richard Yeker (So./Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Adlai E Stevenson) combined for an 8-4 victory at first doubles. Nelson Wolf (Sr./Faibault, Minn./Shattuck-St. Mary's School) and Paul Elbow (Jr./Madison, Wis./Madison East) won, 8-2, at the second spot, while Christian Purnell (Fy./Portland, Ore./The Academy) and Mark Conrad (Fy./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) shutout their opponents at third doubles, 8-0.
Frankel’s third victory of the day came atop the singles lineup, winning in a third-set tiebreaker 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.
"Ezra's game plan can be as confusing as the lyrics to a Jay-Z song, but somehow he always manages to please the fans," Zweifel said.
Wolf pushed his singles win streak to eight matches with a 6-0, 6-1 result at the second slot. Ben Huang (Jr./Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) improved to 4-1 on the trip after cruising to a 6-1, 6-2 triumph at the third slot.
Sam Bacon (Fy./Chapel Hill, N.C./Jordan) and Philip Xiao (Jr./Chino Hills, Calif./Troy) remained unbeaten in 2014 with their victories at fourth and fifth singles, respectively. Bacon held on to win 6-3, 7-5 compared to Xiao’s more lopsided 6-0, 6-1 victory.
Conrad added a 6-1, 6-1 triumph at sixth singles for his second win of the match and concluded his perfect play in the Palmetto State.
The Knights went 6-4 on the spring trip and will next compete on Saturday, April 5 against Macalester College.