Michigan trip proves success for Warhawks

By Cameron Schwarz

Feb. 17, 2016

After traveling to Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Feb. 13, the 26th-ranked UW-Whitewater men’s tennis team brought home two wins. The Hawks beat Kalamazoo College 5-4 and Hope College 8-1 on the weekend.

“It would have been nice to win by a more comfortable margin, but it was probably good for the mental toughness of the team and good to get some experience of close matches as we head into the NCAA tournament,” head coach Frank Barnes said.

After the No. 3 doubles team of Grant Thompson and Michael Schnarr lost 8-5, the No. 2 doubles team, Scott Butler and Rithwik Rajshekhar Raman got the ’Hawks on the board for the first time, winning 8-2.  No. 1 doubles Jake Humphreys and Michael Treis then edged out a win, 9-7, to put the Hawks up 2-1.

“Getting a good doubles lead is important and it kind of just helps with your confidence,” senior captain Jake Humphreys said.  “It shows the guys we can beat this team and we’re confident in our singles lineup then.”

Raman finished the day winning his singles match 6-2, 6-3.  Treis also received a singles match win after losing a first set tiebreaker 6-7 (3-7), but bounced back to form with a 6-2, 6-3 second and third set wins.

Zane Navratil clinched the Hawks’ win with a dominating 6-1, 6-3 victory and heard high praise from his coach.

“He’s been probably the best singles player of the week,” Barnes said.  “In the last month he’s been working on putting more power in his game and that’s really starting to round him out.”

The Hawks reached a .500 record (3-3) with the Kalamazoo win.

“I would’ve liked a little more of a convincing win,” Barnes said.  “It was a tough environment to be able to go on the road and be able to beat another ranked team.”

The Hawks followed up with a double-header against Hope College. 

They were able to give the  starters some rest and get some experience for the younger guys on the team.

The doubles slate swept all three of their matches with No. 1 Butler and Raman winning 8-3,  Schnarr and Thompson won 8-6 and Calabria and Englehart 8-1.

“We knew we could get some valuable experience from Rory Calabria and Jimmy Engelhart,” Barnes said.

Raman got the nod to play at the No. 1 singles spot against hope and won 6-0, 6-1.  Navratil moved up to the No. 2 spot and won again 6-2, 6-3.  Matt Bisbee, Matt Zurowski and Rory Calabria also received wins at theNo. 3, 5 and 6 spots.

Michael Schnarr received the only lose on the singles side but didn’t go down easy, losing on a 10-point third-set tiebreaker 10-7.

The Hawks will try to keep on the winning side as they host the Warhawk invite on Feb. 20. The matches will be held in Janesville at the Premier Tennis and Fitness facility. 

“There are three teams next weekend that are right outside the rankings that really want to beat us,” Humphreys said.