Yeo-Racqueteers End Season on High

Kate Hanick, Staff Writer

Following a tough 1–5 loss to Allegheny College, the men’s tennis team pulled off an impressive 5–4 win against Ohio Wesleyan University on Sunday, April 29, at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship tournament in Gambier, OH. The win, which concluded the Yeomen’s season, earned them seventh place in the NCAC, ahead of Ohio Wesleyan and The College of Wooster.

Senior Joe Leffler led the Yeomen against OWU, winning at No. 6 singles in a tightly contested match that went into extra games each set. Leffler won the first tiebreaker by a nail-biting 7–6 (7–1) score, lost the second set 5–7 and then rallied to score four straight points in the match-ending 7–6 (7–5) final set win.

“It was tough to get over that initial bit of disappointment from losing my last doubles match of college tennis [earlier in the day],” Leffler reflected. “But when I started hitting with my opponent I could see from the start I had to play well.”

Leffler’s decisive win came after a tough go in doubles competition for the Yeomen, who lost two of three matches. Junior Ben Turchin and sophomore Logan Chun were the sole doubles winners at the No. 2 spot, where they came through to win 8–4.

Chun took the momentum into his No. 1 singles match against OWU force Will Thieman.

“I had to play against Thieman for the fourth time during my two-season career,” Chun said. “Last season, he defeated me twice. I knew that I had to hit aggressively in order to defeat him this time around.”

The game plan worked as he defeated Thieman 6–3, 6–3.

Sophomore Charlie Marks added another win to the board with a comeback from a 2–5 deficit in the first set. He rallied to a two-set win, 7–5 and 6–3, which sparked the rest of the Yeomen. Going off of the newfound energy, senior Sam Towne gave the team another important win, 6–4, 6–2.

Leffler took an obviously positive view following the victory over OWU.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my team’s performance against Ohio Wesleyan. We had already played for hours in the morning, got little sleep the night before and had to get over the fact that we just got spanked by a team we really wanted to beat [Allegheny],” Leffler said. “We managed to scrap our way … somehow.”

“This season, we wanted to win this match mainly for the seniors,” Chun said. “We wanted our senior co-captains … to end their careers with a win.”

In playing his last match for the maroon and yellow, Leffler shared final thoughts on his career: “I’m going to miss playing tennis here so much. It’s been a wonderful experience and has taught me so much. I’ll miss my teammates and coaches next year. It has been amazing to work with them and have their support on and off the court. They’re the most reliable, fun, hardworking people I know at this school, and it’s been an amazing experience to play tennis with them.”

While the team is satisfied with its seventh-place finish in the conference, Chun contends he’s hungry for more come next season.

“I am proud of the team’s … turnout, but I am not satisfied. Our pre-season goal was to finish fourth in the conference, which was very obtainable,” he said. “All we can do now is to continue working hard towards next season to reach our goal.”