Men’s tennis team tops La Crosse in Minnesota

Ben Lokken, Staff Reporter

The UW-Whitewater men’s tennis team traveled up to Winona, Minn. April 13 for a WIAC showdown with UW-La Crosse, and was able to take down the Eagles by an 8-1 score.

The win gave the Warhawks their third straight win and improve their record to 12-5 on the season.

“There is always a lot of intensity and focus when we play WIAC rivals,” senior Jimmy Engelhart said. “The matches get loud and both teams tend to play their best tennis.”

The matches were initially going to be played in La Crosse but due to a forecast predicting inclement weather, the event had to be moved to Winona in order to be played on indoor courts.

“There is a lot more elements to deal with outside,” head coach Frank Barnes said. “The ball moves slower outdoors due to wind and big hitters usually do well indoors and we have some big hitters on this team.”

The Warhawks adjusted to the venue change and took care of business on the indoor court.  The Warhawks started by sweeping the doubles matches, including winning two of the three matches in decisive fashion.  Engelhart and freshmen Alex Gray claimed an 8-2 victory in the first doubles slot while junior Zach Wood and freshmen Noah Guillermo took home an 8-3 victory.

The Warhawks were nearly as dominate in singles competition as they were in doubles.  Gray and freshmen Ryan Mitchell each won their singles matches quickly with scores of 6-2, 6-1 for Gray and 7-5, 6-1 for Mitchell.   

Freshmen Parker Hearne filled in on short notice for an injured teammate and took home a singles victory by scores of 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Engelhart and Wood rounded out the Warhawks’ successful day with their own singles victories by scores of 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 for Engelhart and 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 for Wood respectively.  The Warhawks didn’t seem bothered by all the traveling they had to do in order to compete this weekend.

“When traveling to multiple locations we try not to change our preparation too much,”  Engelhart said.  “The traveling can definitely get tiring, but we try to take the best care of our bodies by getting a lot of rest so we can perform at our highest level.”

The Warhawks returned to action on Sunday after hitting the road again and driving up to Eau Claire, WI to face off against another WIAC foe in UW-Eau Claire.  Results were not released by press time.