Tennis squads fall short in matches

Bailey Johnston, Staff Writer

UW-Whitewater men’s and women’s tennis teams are needing to make up for lost time with losses against the Washington University Bears and the University of Chicago Phoenix at St. Louis, Missouri April 15 and 16.
The Warhawks men started out the weekend with a 7-2 loss against Washington University while the women got defeated as well with a score of 8-1.
“We knew we would have some hard competition this weekend,” head coach Frank Barnes said.
Junior Zane Navratil and sophomore Jimmy Engelhart had a great weekend in their doubles taking a win over the Bears’ with an 8-4 victory.
“Zane and I played some of our best tennis against Washington University,” Engelhart said. “Fortunately, we came out with a hard fought win against a great doubles team.”
Sophomore Brandon Dechter and junior Matt Zurowski were defeated with a score of 8-6.
Dechter has been struggling with injuries throughout the season including back issues and a recently hyper-extended knee.
“Dechter’s injury has kind of continued into the season, so we’ve had him in and out of the lineup,” Barnes said. “This was the first weekend in a while where we’ve had him in singles and doubles, so it’s good to have him back in the lineup.”
Navratil continued his momentum in singles with his big win against one of the Bears’ regionally ranked players, John Carswell with scores of 6-4, 6-2 to finish out the day for the men.
The ’Hawks women’s squad had setbacks as well, but juniors Alexandra Talyansky and Jillian Wallace didn’t let the losses get the most of them when they executed a perfect 8-1 victory over the Bears.
“Talyansky and Wallace have been dominating, so they are continuing to execute well,” Barnes said.
In singles, junior Bridgid McGuire and Alicia Beck each took losses against the Bears. Junior Brittany Goebel had a second set nail biter but couldn’t push her opponent into a third round.
“We had three close singles matches all weekend, so we need to believe that we can beat these teams, and that’s the first step to winning,” Barnes said. “We knew we would be playing some high leveled players. We were matched up with good competition all weekend.
The Hawks’ men continued April 16 with an 8-1 loss against the fifth ranked team Phoenix.
Junior Matt Zurowski and Dechter had a close doubles match for the men, but couldn’t finish strong when Chicago’s Charlie Pei and Bobby Bethke came from behind to win.
“We want to keep working on exerting great amounts of energy and support in every doubles match to try to get ahead going into singles,” Engelhart said.
Engelhart and Navratil were “respectfully outplayed” by Chicago in their doubles play as well.
“Against U Chicago, we were outplayed,” Engelhart said. “U-Chicago played a great, solid match to beat us. Credit to them for playing well.”
Freshman Zach Wood was impressive all weekend.
“He really stood out to me this weekend. He was competing in every match he played against tough competition with close scores to show for it. The way that Zach competes, leads, and handles himself on the court doesn’t reflect that he is only a freshman. By watching him, you would think he is an upperclassman. This says a lot about the work ethic that Zach had this weekend,” Engelhart said.
The women later took on Chicago as well as ending the weekend with a loss in St. Louis.
Senior Megan Humphreys and McGuire dominated their doubles leaving Missouri with a victory of 8-3.
“We have the ability, we just need to turn it around and make it all happen at once,” Barnes said.
Humphreys fell short later in the day, losing her singles match to a nail biter finish of 10-7.
Beck won her first two matches but was outplayed by Estefania Navarro with a 10-5 loss.
The men hope to turn their record around, when they host against UW-Lacrosse and UW-Eau Claire at Wangerin Courts next Saturday, April 22nd at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
“We are favored to win this weekend, but that can be a slippery slope sometimes when we start to relax a bit…This will be our 11th WIAC title for the guys, so I don’t think we need to talk to them too much about it to get them fired up” Coach Barnes said.
While the men hope to dominate, the women are hoping to as well when they host the WIAC Final Four AQ Tournament Saturday, April 29th at Wangerin Courts against UW-Oshkosh at 3 p.m.