Louis Takes Home Player of the Week Accolade


Effie Kline-Salamon

Senior captain Soren Zeliger readies himself to make a return shot in a match against the Indiana Tech Warriors. The Yeomen defeated the Warriors 7–2 to push their season record to 3–4.

Jackie McDermott, Sports Editor

Junior Callan Louis was named North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week after a commanding performance in the men’s tennis team’s 7–2 win over the Indiana Institute of Technology. Louis has provided Oberlin with an edge, helping lead the team in winning two of its last three matches — besting Wheaton College and falling to the University of Chicago, bringing the team’s current record to 3–4.

In their match against National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics team Indiana Tech, the Yeomen displayed a lot of energy as cheers from both teams filled the courts, and momentum swung back and forth within each match.

The match got off to a close start as Oberlin and Indiana Tech split the first two doubles contests, with sophomore Ian Paik and first-year Michael Drougas winning 8–5 in No. 2 doubles and sophomores Abraham Davis and Billy Lennon falling at the No. 3 slot. The No. 1 doubles duo, Louis and senior Soren Zeliger, took the final match to seal the deal for the Yeomen, finishing 8–6 in a tight victory.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match going in,” Paik said. “You never know with these NAIA or Division II schools full of foreign players, so it was very important for us to grab the momentum from the get-go.”

In singles play, Louis grabbed a decisive 6–0, 6–2 win at the No. 3 spot. Davis and Zeliger also produced results for the Yeomen in the No. 4 and No. 5 singles spots, and Drougas and first-year Manickam Manickam powered through close first sets to decisively win in the second sets at the No. 2 and No. 6 flights.

“[Indiana Tech] was a good team, but they weren’t very tough,” said Manickam. “They were really flashy; they didn’t really want to hit more than four or five balls in a rally. I think we were really disciplined … and that’s why we won.”

Reflecting on Friday’s contest, Head Coach Eric Ishida said he was proud of the entire lineup’s effort in the unpredictable matches.

“[In] the Indiana Tech match we played a very balanced match, and we felt very confident with our team out on the court,” he said in an email to the Review.

Ishida said he was particularly pleased with Louis’ big wins and commended him for his Player of the Week nod.

“[Louis] is playing at the top spot with Soren Zeliger in doubles, and they are playing very well,” he said. “In singles, [Louis] has won two big matches for Oberlin, one against Wabash [College] and recently against Indiana Tech.”

Ishida also stated that he will continue to count on Louis to provide results for the team moving forward. Louis has also garnered titles such as the North Coast Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year award in his 2013 rookie season and has played in the top half of the lineup for his entire Oberlin career. Paik echoed Ishida’s praise for Louis as well as other teammates for their play last weekend.

“Soren and Cal played a great match against a very good No. 1 doubles team and carried the momentum through singles, taking five of six,” Paik said. “Abe [Davis] was clutch again and clinched for a second straight dual match. It was good to get this commanding win under our belts going into this important doubleheader down at [Ohio Wesleyan University] this weekend.”

In the win over Wheaton College on Feb. 14, the Yeomen secured an early lead in doubles, winning at all three flights in competitive yet comfortable wins. Louis and senior captain Zeliger won at the No. 1 doubles spot 8–5.

In singles play, the lower half of the lineup secured the 6–3 win as Davis, Manickam and Zeliger took victories in the fourth through sixth spots. After winning the first set 6–2, Davis resisted a second-set run by Wheaton’s Lincoln Metz, winning the second set by a tight 7–5 score. Manickam pulled off a 7–5 win in the first set, and won comfortably in the second 6–2 against Wheaton’s Derek Mumaw. In the top two flights, Paik and Drougas were both defeated in back-and-forth three-set battles.

While the University of Chicago Maroons gained a decisive 9–0 victory over the Yeomen later that day, Paik had an impressive singles performance, battling it out with Nicholas Chua, the No. 1 ranked Division III player in the country, before falling 6–2, 6–3.

The trip to the Windy City also marked the team’s first weekend with new Assistant Coach Kevin Papen. A 2012 graduate of Washington College, where he was a team captain and No. 1 singles and doubles player, Papen has lent his coaching knowledge and playing skills to both the men’s and women’s teams, hitting with the players at practice and coaching from the sidelines of matches.

“It helps being recently out of college because I’m still in the competitive mindset,” Papen said. “I’ve gotten really lucky because everyone is so nice, every person on the team and both coaches.”

Ishida said that Papen’s presence on the coaching staff is a welcome addition to the team.

“He is exactly the guy we needed to help both programs in practice and on court during matches,” he said.

The Yeomen will be back in action in an away doubleheader against Earlham College and conference foe Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday, March 7.