Men’s tennis team takes three of five in South Carolina

Adversity can take many forms and the men’s tennis team encountered plenty in South Carolina during its spring break trip.
Whether it was spending long hours on the court, playing ranked opponents or competing without their full lineup, the Warhawks fought to finish the week with a 3-2 record.

Junior Andrew Bayliss returns a volley. Bayliss is 9-5 in sinlges play this season, while the men’s team finished its spring trip 3-2. The Warhawks are ranked seventh in the Central Region and lost to No. 8 DePauw University 5-4. Photo by Kara Amundson.

“Three wins against the kind of competition we faced defined this as a successful trip,” coach Frank Barnes said. “I saw our team mature and I think this will springboard us heading into our next matches.”
The team opened the week against Graceland University last Saturday and was ahead 2-1 after doubles, but found themselves behind 4-3 after losing three of its four singles matches.
Junior RJ Rademacher won 6-3 and 6-1 to give the team a chance, and sophomore Dan Noonan won 6-1 and 6-4 to seal the win.
“Going in, I knew I had to play my best,” Noonan said. “It felt great to pick up the win for my team and it was fun having all eyes on me.”
On Monday, the ’Hawks faced  The Citadel, a Division-I team, and lost 5-2. They went into singles down 1-0 and only found wins at No. 2 and No. 3 singles.
“We’ve never faced this program before but I thought they were very strong,” Barnes said.
Senior Mitch Osborne was one of the team’s two wins in singles, 6-4 and 6-1, that day and was consistent throughout the week winning every singles match he played.
“I had some really close matches this week and after I won my first, it really gave me a lot of confidence moving forward,” Osborne said. “We progressed a lot as a team and are starting to peak heading into the end of the year, which is where we want to be.”
Last Tuesday the ’Hawks defeated the College of Coastal Georgia, in Georgia, 5-4, and returned to South Carolina for a double header on Thursday. They fell to Central Region rival DePauw University 5-4 and defeated Oberlin College 7-2.
Disappointment was the word Barnes and his players all used when describing the match against DePauw. After that loss the team is now 0-9 againt DePauw all time.
“That was a match we all really wanted to win and it took almost six and a half hours,” Barnes said. “Even though we lost it was one of the most exciting matches I’ve ever been involved with.”
Thursday also marked the return of junior Andy McGlashen to the lineup. After cutting his foot the first day of break he was forced to sit out the first three matches.
“It was uncomfortable playing because I had my stiches all padded up,” McGlashen said. “With me out of the lineup the first few days some people had to play positions they normally didn’t and it was great to see.”
On Saturday the ‘Hawks have matches at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Wangerin Courts against Rock Valley College and Lawrence University.