Netters go 2-0 on the week

Feb. 11, 2011 By Ryan Altman

After losing the first three matches of the season against Division-I opponents, the UW-Whitewater men’s tennis team finally reached the D-III portion of its schedule, wasting little time to get back on track.

The ’Hawks (2-3 overall), ranked No. 25 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, cruised past UW-Oshkosh, 9-0, followed by an 8-1 victory over Lake Forest at Four Lakes Athletic Club in Elkhorn.

All three doubles teams earned wins against the Titans (0-3). Junior Michael Treis and senior Ben Shklyar picked up an 8-4 victory at No. 1 doubles.

Junior Michael Schnarr and sophomore Rithwik Rajshekhar Raman added a win at the No. 3 position.

In singles, senior Cam Laktash and freshman Matt Zurowski dropped one game each in their wins at No. 3 and No. 4 singles. Junior Jake Humphreys topped the Titans’ Mike Gillespie at the No. 1 position, while junior Matt Bisbee claimed victory at No. 5.

Battle-tested from the start of the season, head coach Frank Barnes felt the team was more than ready for its stretch of meets coming against D-III schools.

“We got great preparation from the Division-I opponents,” Barnes said. “They forced our guys to compete to their highest level. But [returning to D-III competition], I think they felt more comfortable on the court and we got some convincing wins.”

The ’Hawks again won all three doubles matches, and then took five of six singles matches against Lake Forest (1-2).

Laktash went 3-0 on the day, collecting a 6-0, 6-1 win in singles and an 8-0 shutout in doubles with Humphreys.

“Until yesterday (Saturday), playing against all three [Division-I schools], it’s tough because you’ve expected to win,” Laktash said. “But, there’s nothing to lose and all the pressure is on them.”

Raman also notched a shutout victory at No. 2 singles, defeating Lake Forest’s Mike Riley, 6-0, 6-0. At the No. 5 position, freshman Martin Beck added a win against Dragan Trivanovic 6-0, 6-1.

Sebastian Lauterbach suffered the lone ’Hawks defeat, falling in a third-set ten-point tiebreak, 6-3, 4-6, 0-1 (5-10).

In other doubles competition, freshman Zane Navratil and sophomore Scott Butler produced an 8-2 victory over Trivanovic and Nick Rehm. Lauterbach and Zurowski added a win at the No. 3 position with the same result.

In the two meets, the ’Hawks utilized 13 players from the roster, which is something Laktash, a team captain, loves to see.

“We’ve got a really deep team all the way down,” Laktash said. “If we need to rest any starters, we know there’s someone who can step up and fill in for them.”

The ’Hawks will need this depth when they face Carroll University on Feb. 14 in Janesville, and No. 24-ranked DePauw on Feb. 15 in Greencastle, Indiana.

DePauw defeated the ’Hawks, 7-2, last season in Hilton Head, South Carolina during their annual spring trip.

“We’re expecting a tough battle,” Laktash said. “It’s always one of the tougher matches we play all season-long.”

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