Tennis’ Fall Season Ending on a High Note

Sarah Kahl

The men’s and women’s tennis teams both showed tremendous promise at each of their matches last weekend. The men hosted their annual Invitational, while the women traveled to Greencastle, IN, where they competed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Championships.

On the women’s side, senior Brenna Sheldon headlined the team’s effort at the three-day event, advancing all the way to the semifinals of the ITA Central Region Championships. “It was actually a really fun match,” exclaimed Sheldon. “We played really well, and got to see what we were individually capable of, while having the support from our team.”

Seeded 10th in the 128-person field, Sheldon made it to the tournament’s final four after defeating Denison University’s Kelsey Geppner 6–2, 6–1 on Sunday morning. Sheldon then battled the region’s top-ranked player, Megan Tang of the University of Chicago, but fell short to the tournament’s top seed by a 6–3, 6–1 scoreline.

“It was also great seeing everyone play at this tournament. We got to do so because of our high ranking from last year,” said sophomore Alexandra Kahn. “It’s also nice spending a lot of time with the team so early. The first-years honestly fit right in.”

After dropping her first match in the main draw, junior Grace Porter ended up making it all the way to the semifinals in the consolation draw before falling to the No. 1 player, Taylor Diffey of Kenyon College.

In doubles play, the No. 1 duo, Sheldon and Porter, advanced to round 16 in the main draw before being upended by a pairing from DePauw University.

“Doubles is something I’m really looking forward to improving in,” said Sheldon. “With a great team dynamic, we can just go so far and have so much fun, especially once we learn how to work with each other.”

The men’s tennis team hosted four regional opponents this weekend at its annual invitational event. After opening their season last weekend with an invitational at Kenyon, the Yeomen played on their home courts for the first time this fall.

On Saturday, rookies Ian Paik, Jeremy Lichtmacher, Abraham Davis, Lucas Brown and Paul Farah all picked up singles wins. Returning sophomores Parker Oka-Wong, Brandon McKenna and Callan Louis each earned victories, as well.

In doubles action, the duo of Callan Louis and Farah continued their impressive run.  After going 3–0 at Kenyon, they registered two more wins over the weekend, with victories over Baldwin Wallace University and Allegheny College, each by the score of 8–6.  Other doubles winners included the duo of Davis and Paik, who dispatched their Case Western University opponents by a score of 8–2.

“Last year there was a different feel, almost like a slight expectation to lose.

This year we have a more winning attitude,” said junior captain Soren Zeliger.

On Sunday, the success continued with Paik, Zeliger, McKenna and Brown all of whom picked up singles wins. Zeliger, after disappointing three-set defeats on Saturday, impressively picked it back up with the score of 6–2, 6–1.  In doubles action, the duo of Gilbert and Brown picked up a win over Baldwin Wallace University by an 8–3 margin.

“It’s almost like we’re a new team,” said Zeliger. “It’s honestly exactly what Oberlin’s tennis needs. In the past, we didn’t have the best reputation or anything, but now we can start fresh. And we’re already beginning to see that in the results.”

The Yeomen will continue their play next Sunday with a home match against Findlay University at 12 p.m., while the Yeowomen will finish their fall season on Saturday, Oct. 5 when they host Carnegie Mellon University at 11 a.m.  as part of Homecoming Weekend at 11 a.m.