NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s tennis team defeated neighboring St. Olaf College, 6-3, in a hard-fought contest at the Bell Field Courts. The match was moved up a day in hopes of better playing conditions, but unseasonably cooler temperatures still prevailed. Despite the conditions, the Knights pushed their record to 14-7 overall and a perfect 6-0 mark in MIAC conference play. More importantly, Carleton now has clinched a spot in the six-team conference playoff to be held later this month.
Leading the way for Carleton was multiple winner Ezra Frankel (Fy./Lincoln, Mass./Belmont Hill School). Frankel was a 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) winner in sixth singles and also combined with Christian Nagy (So./Fairway, Kan./Pembroke Hill School) for an 8-5 doubles victory.
Coach Stephan Zweifel said, “Ezra's match was a spectacular display of shot making from both opponents, and lasted well over two hours. As the sun set, temperatures plunged even further, and the granola bars were eaten. I was afraid we were going to morph from being a Tennis Party to the Donner Party."
Andrew Hwang (Jr./Brookfield, Wis./University School) and Erik Johnson (So./Grand Forks, N.D./ Red River) paired to secure an 8-6 win at first doubles. This win keeps the duo undefeated in MIAC doubles play since the tandem was formed this spring.
Mauricio Gonzalez (Jr./La Paz, Bolivia/American Cooperative School) contributed a key win at third singles with a 6-3, 6-0 victory. Patton McClelland (Fy./Rock Hill, S.C./Charlotte Latin School) continued his solid play with a dramatic three-set win. McClelland took the opener 6-1, but was beaten 3-6 in the second set. The final set tiebreaker was close, but the Carleton rookie prevailed 10-6 to capture the match. McCoy Becker (Sr./Ojai, Calif./Thacher School) grabbed the final win for the Knights with a 6-4, 6-2 victory at fourth singles.
"We always enjoy our cross-town rivalry with the Oles. The competition brings out some exciting tennis, and today was no exception," said Zweifel.
Next up for the No. 17 regionally ranked Knights will be another key conference match up, this one against the University of St. Thomas. The match will be held on campus at Bell Field Courts on Wednesday, April 23 at 4:00 p.m.