Netters win ninth straight after spring trip

By Cameron Schwarz

March 30, 2016

The No. 16 UW-Whitewater men’s tennis team extended its win streak to nine as they went undefeated against six different opponents on their trip to Hilton Head, South ,Carolina on March 21-24.

The team picked up wins against Carleton College (MN) 9-0, Allegheny College (PA) 8-1, Oberlin College (OH) 6-3, Depauw University (IN) 5-4, Erskine College (SC) 7-2 and Virginia Wesleyan College 7-2.

The matches against Carleton, Oberlin and Depauw were three matches that had impact on the regional ranking and head coach Frank Barnes said he realized it.

“We had three really dangerous matches and we knew that going in,” Barnes said.

Depauw was the highest regionally-ranked team at No. 7 that the team faced on the week.

“We kind of had the Depauw match circled, but we also didn’t want to fall asleep against teams like Carleton and Oberlin,” Barnes said.

The team didn’t struggle against No. 11 regionally ranked Carleton as they swept through the competition 9-0.  No. 1 doubles seniors Jake Humphreys and Michael Treis and No. 3 doubles, senior Michael Schnarr and sophomore Grant Thompson each won 8-4, while No. 2 doubles junior Rithwik Rajshekhar Raman and senior Scott Butler won 8-3.

The singles side also didn’t face any problems as they completed wins in just two sets at the 1-6 spots.

The back end of the singles lineup (No. 4-6) was the difference maker in the close matches for the ’Hawks.  Against Oberlin the team won 6-3, No. 4 singles sophomore Zane Navratil won 6-3, 0-6, 10-7, No. 5 senior Matt Bisbee defeated his opponent 6-1, 6-1 and No. 6 Schnarr won 6-1, 6-0.

“You never know who you are going to get it from with this team,” Bisbee said.  “The back end of our singles lineup had a great spring break with some really good wins.

Againt Depauw, Raman and Butler picked up the first win for the team at No. 2 doubles 8-1.  After two three-set 10-point tiebreaker losses by No. 1 singles Humphreys and No. 2 singles Treis, it was the 3-6 spots carrying the load to get four out of the five needed wins.  No. 3 Raman won 7-5, 6-4, No. 4 Thompson got a 10-point tiebreaker win 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (10-4), No. 5 Navratil won 6-3, 6-2 and Bisbee sealed the team win, defeating his opponent 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

Barnes also recognized how big the bottom half of the singles stepped up in the close matches.

“The key to the spring break was our depth of our 3-6 singles players getting it done when we needed them too,” Barnes said.

The ’Hawks will try to improve their win streak to 11 games as they take on Wabash College and Edgewood College here in Whitewater at the Wangerin Courts.  It will also be senior day for five current seniors on the team.

“I don’t think we’ll have an issue with these teams based on the confidence I have in my teammates,” Bisbee said.  “We’re going to treat this matchup like any other match.”

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