Yeomen Look to Bounce Back from Loss to Cleveland State

Sloane Garelick

The past two weeks have left the men’s tennis team with two big home wins and two sound defeats on the road. Last Thursday, the Yeomen shutout the Heidelberg University Student Princes at home, winning 9–0.

“I think we played at a much higher level than we had been playing and the matchups were in our favor, so a lot of the matches went our way,” said Head Coach Eric Ishida.

There were all-around great performances from each player in both the doubles and singles play.

The Yeomen were dominant in their doubles matches. At the No.1 spot, sophomore Callan Louis and senior Charlie Marks won 8–2. The first-year dynamic duo of Ian Paik and Abraham Davis earned an 8–3 win at No. 2. Paik and Davis each won individually as well, Paik with a 6–0 and 6–1 defeat of Benjamin Moore at No. 3, and Davis with a 6–0 and 6–0 victory over Tyler Flickinger at No. 4. Both Paik and Davis have now won five of their last six matches.

“I think it’s important to go into every match with intensity. When you get to harder matches you’re mentally prepared in the same way, and you just go out there and play with the same intensity,” said Davis.

Intensity was exactly what Coach Ishida hoped to see from the Yeomen in their battle against Heidelberg.

“In that match we knew that we were favored to win, but we actually had a few team goals set to focus on,” said Ishida. “We wanted to attack second serves and we wanted to appear at net more than a typical match, which allowed us to play an aggressive game and really kept the guys humbled, grounded and focused.”

Other triumphs from the Heidelberg match included sophomore Brandon McKenna’s 6–1 and 6–2 victory over Dan Driscoll at No. 6 and first–year Lucas Brown’s 6–2 and 6–3 win over Matt McDivitt at No. 5.

“I was happy with how we did overall, taking care of Heidelberg and getting both Brandon and Lucas their first wins of the season,” said Paik.

Ishida and the Yeomen hoped to carry this same level of performance into the match against the Division I Vikings of Cleveland State University last Sunday. Although the Yeomen came up short with a loss of 0–7, Ishida was pleased with how the team performed.

“We wanted to test our doubles and see what our volleying level and net play was. We also wanted to see if we could sustain long rallies with them,” said Ishida. “I think we struggled with it, but we were trying to do the right things and I was very happy with the result.”

The players also recognized their overall accomplishments despite the difficult matchup against Cleveland State. “I was happy with the way we competed. We kept our intensity up even through the more one-sided matches,” said Paik.

“When someone is that good and pushes you, you realize things you need to work on and things you mentally need to do to compete a little bit better in the matches,” said Davis.

With these two matches behind them, the Yeomen look to the rest of the season, and their upcoming match against the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops on March 8. The Bishops defeated the Yeomen 4–5 in the conference tournament last year, so this will be an especially significant game for returning players and Ishida.

“I think we need to focus on just being intense and making sure that we’re outworking our opponents. And if we do that then we’ll be successful,” said Ishida.

The Yeomen are now 4–2 for the spring season and are looking ahead with high expectations and goals.

“We can take the experience of playing Heidelberg to help keep our intensity up through all of our other matches, including the upcoming Ohio Wesleyan match,” said Paik. “I think our team is heading in the right direction and isn’t that far off from the top programs in the region and nation.”