ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s tennis team moved closer to securing yet another post-season berth with a 9-0 victory at Hamline University. Alex Chin (Sr./Hingham, Mass./Hingham) picked up two more victories, and Mauricio Gonzalez (So./La Paz, Bolivia/American Cooperative School) prevailed in a marathon match to cap the sweep.
Paul Cooper (Sr./Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale Central) and Andrew Hwang (So./Brookfield, Wis./University School) returned to victory lane with an 8-3 decision at first doubles. Chin and Austin Jiang (Sr./Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port) improved to 8-0 as a doubles pairing with their 8-2 victory at the second slot. Christian Nagy (Fy./Fairway, Kans./Pembroke Hill School) won with his fourth different doubles partner of the season, teaming with Ben Huang (So./Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) for an 8-5 conquest at third doubles.
In singles, Chin improved to 10-1 on the season with his 6-4 and 6-1 victory atop the singles flights. "Today we saw inspired tennis by Alex against a top player in our region,” said Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel. “This season, Alex has been racking up wins like the Secretary of State does frequent flyer miles."
Hwang evened his season record with a 6-3, 7-6 triumph, while Jiang played his first singles match in more than a month, posting a dominant 6-0, 6-0 decision.
Nagy also won in straight sets, 6-0 and 6-2, at the fifth spot in the lineup, while Paul Elbow (So./Madison, Wis./Madison East) remains undefeated this season following his 6-2, 6-1 win.
Gonzalez improved to 8-1 this season, but it wasn’t easy. He saved two match points before prevailing in a third set tiebreaker, 4-6, 6-2 and 12-10. "Mauricio's match was so long that I stopped taking notes on my smart phone and started to play Angry Birds,” Zweifel said.
With a 5-0 record in MIAC play, Carleton is just one conference victory away from locking up a spot in the MIAC playoffs. Before they can focus on that task, the Knights will make their annual trip to Iowa next weekend with matches against regionally-ranked opponents, Grinnell College and Coe College on April 13 and 14, respectively.