LAKEVILLE, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s tennis team concluded the indoor portion of its season with an 8-1 victory over Bethel University. The Knights improve to 7-1 on the season and 2-0 in conference play. The third doubles pairing of Nelson Wolf (So./Faibault, Minn./Shattuck-St. Mary's School) and Ben Huang (Fy./Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) rallied for a dramatic victory, while senior Jon Aranda (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) had an easier time with his singles match.
The Knights swept the three doubles matches, but it wasn’t easy. Paul Cooper (Jr./Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale Central) and Andrew Hwang (Fy./Brookfield, Wis./University School) posted an 8-3 triumph at first doubles. The pairing of Aranda and McCoy Becker (So./Ojai, Calif./Thacher School) recorded an 8-5 win at the second spot, but the real suspense came at third doubles. Wolf and Huang had to break serve on the last game just to stay in the match and were even down a match point before rallying to win 9-8.
"We had a real battle at No. 3 doubles today,” noted Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel. “Nelson and Ben were able to fight their way out of more precarious situations than a team of Navy SEALs."
The drama carried over to singles where tight contests at the first and third spots necessitated a third set.
Hwang, ranked No. 16 in the central region, dropped the opener 6-4, but bounced back by scores of 6-1 and 10-8. His doubles partner, Cooper, faced a similar situation, losing the first set 6-2 before recovering for a 6-2 and 10-6 victory.
Aranda, Austin Jiang (Jr./Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port), Mauricio Gonzalez (Fy./La Paz, Bolivia/American Cooperative School) each prevailed in straight sets with Aranda dropping just one game.
"Like a self-reinforcing solitary wave that maintains its shape while it travels at constant speed, Jon "Soliton" Aranda was simply unstoppable in his singles match today," Zweifel said.
Bethel notched its point with a narrow 7-6, 7-5 decision at fourth singles.
"Although we had a very successful indoor season, the team is looking forward to packing sunscreen and sandals as we head to South Carolina in two weeks," said Zweifel. The Knights will play eight matches over a six-day stretch during their annual trip to Hilton Head Island, S.C.