HILTON HEAD, S.C. – One day after absorbing a pair of setbacks, the Carleton College men’s tennis team rebounded with victories over a pair of regionally-ranked squads. The Knights opened their third day of competition on the Spring Break trip with a 5-4 victory over University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire then defeated Hobart College under the lights by a 6-3 margin. Paul Cooper (Jr./Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale Central) and Peter Dunn (Sr./Winnetka, Ill./North Shore Country Day) both went 4-0 on the day, teaming up for a pair of doubles victories before posting two singles triumphs apiece.
Carleton, ranked No. 10 in the central region, fell behind early after dropping two of the three doubles contests to Blugolds, ranked No. 16 in the region. Cooper and Dunn tallied an 8-5 win at the second spot.
Dunn led the comeback with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over regionally-ranked Chris Kuna at first singles. Austin Jiang (Jr./Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port) and Dan Vollman (Sr./Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) added straight-set wins at the third and fourth slots, and Cooper’s 6-2, 6-4 win at fifth singles gave the Knights the victory.
In the nightcap, Carleton got off to a much better start against the Statesmen, ranked No. 16 in the northeast region. The Knights won all three doubles. Dunn and Cooper prevailed 9-7 at the top spot. Seniors Vollman and Jon Aranda (Sr./Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) played together for the first time this year and notched the 8-4 decision at the second spot. Jiang and Andrew Hwang (Fy./Brookfield, Wis./University School) completed the sweep by an 8-5 margin.
"Peter and Paul were the lead dogs in both singles and doubles,” said Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel. “Their win at number one doubles against a very talented Hobart duo was indicative of their attack at all cost style of play. They showed as much disdain for staying back on the baseline as Lady Gaga does for wearing off-the-rack clothing."
Dunn, Cooper, and Matthew Ta (Fy./Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley) posted victories in singles. Dunn required a third-set super tiebreaker to win 6-1, 4-6, 10-4. Cooper notched a 6-3, 6-4 win and Ta overcame an opening-set loss to prevail 4-6, 6-2, 11-9.
"This was another long and productive day of tennis for the team, beating two strong regionally ranked opponents,” said Zweifel. “We stared the morning as energetic as a group of nursery school children after their snack break; we ended the day needing a nap and a blanket."
The Knights close out their trip with a match on Saturday against national No. 26 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.