Yeomen Look Sharp in First Match

Suzanna Doak

This past weekend the men’s tennis team traveled to Indiana to play Wabash College, where they secured a close 5–4 victory over the Little Giants. First– year Abraham Davis scored the match-winning point in singles against fellow first–year from Wabash, Mazin Hakim. He recorded  scores 7–6 and 6–2, foreshadowing a strong season to come.

Junior Soren Zeliger anticipated that the match would be challenging. “We were expecting a close match and were really glad to have pulled it out,” he said.

While Head Coach Eric Ishida was excited about the win, he knows that his team can do better. “We played well against Wabash, but had to come back from down 3–1 to win the team victory. As we mature as a team this season, we will need to get ahead in doubles and finish our opponents in singles,” said Ishida.

 Sophomore Callan Louis, and first-years Ian Paik and Paul Farah, played important roles in the Yeomen win over the Little Giants. All three came up victorious with Paik finishing his third set with a 10–8 win, while Louis ended his with a 10–7 score during his final set. In sixth position, Farah dominated his matches, taking home a 6–1 and 6–0 victory.

Following this win, the Yeomen took on their second match of the day and obliterated Lake Forest College in a 9–0 win. The doubles pair of senior Charlie Marks and Louis made quick work with an 8–5 win before each member individually took on Lake Forest with a scoreline of 6–4, 6–4 and 6–2, 6–4 respectively.

Although the men’s tennis team has already hosted as well as participated in multiple invites, this past weekend marked its first conference match. If the teams hard work against Wabash is an indicator, it’s worth conjecturing that the rest of its season will be equally well-played.

Last year, the men’s team met Wabash with the same score, yet ended its season with a 9–13 overall record and a conference record of 1–3, falling to Wabash, Ohio Wesleyan University and Denison University during North Coast Athletic Conference. This year, though, they’ve started off strong with its current record sitting at 3–2. The Yeomen are looking to make a powerful return to NCACs this spring aided by the experience of their seniors and the strength of their six first-years.

Sophomore Parker Oka-Wong stated that everything looks promising and that the first-years “[The first-years] are very talented and are pushing the rest of the team to perform at a higher level,” said sophomore Parker Oka-Wong. “I think that the freshmen are quickly adjusting to college tennis and finding their rhythm. We did lose Ben Turchin, [OC ‘13], who’s now our assistant coach, but we’re establishing a new team chemistry, especially for our doubles teams.”

Zeliger was quick to agree with Parker. “It looks like we’ll definitely finish better than last year (we finished eighth of nine) and we could even move into the top half of our conference if we stay motivated and don’t let ourselves get too satisfied,” he said via email.

Coach Ishida remains confident and has high hopes for the spring season. “Moving forward I see us gaining confidence and trusting each other more as a unit. Our schedule is difficult this year and each match will be a test. If we stick together, continue working hard each day, and learn from our mistakes, we can make a big improvement in conference this year,” he said.

Taking all of this into account, it seems we can expect to see a lot from this team. The Yeomen look to continue their winning ways as they host Otterbein University on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.