The Oglethorpe men's tennis team, newly ranked 12th in the Atlantic South region, suffered a tough loss at No. 15 Sewanee Friday afternoon, losing the last two matches to fall, 5-4.
The Petrels took one of the three doubles matches, as the team of Bryan Bailey and C.J. Antonio took the No. 2 match, 8-4. Oglethorpe could have had more, however, as the team of Ethan Motz and Nick Roby led the No. 1 match, 3-0. They still led 5-4 later on, and had a game point to go up 6-4, but the Sewanee pair broke their serve, then broke it again up 7-6 to take the match, 8-6.
Down 2-1 entering singles, the Petrels quickly fell behind 3-1 after dropping the No. 1 match. However, they stormed back, winning the next three matches and putting themselves on the verge of victory. Ben Hirsch won 7-6, 6-2 at No. 5 to start the run, and Bailey followed at No. 3 with a 6-3, 6-1 victory that tied the overall score at 3-3. The Petrels took the lead when Briton Richardson finished off his tough second set 7-5 after cruising 6-0 in the first. Oglethorpe needed just one of the remaining two matches to go their way to claim victory on the afternoon.
Antonio had a chance to close it out at the No. 2 slot. He lost the first set 6-3, but rallied to take the second set 7-6, saving four match points along the way and winning the tiebreak, 9-7. In the third set, he served for his match and the dual match up 5-4, but was unable to close it out. He was then broken down 6-5 and lost the set 7-5 and the match two-sets-to-one.
With the overall score tied 4-4, everything came down to the No. 4 match featuring Kirk Zhao. He won the first set 6-3, but lost the second by the same scoreline. This set up a third and decisive set. The set was tied 4-4, but Sewanee broke Zhao's serve to go up 5-4 and serve for the dual match. They held serve and won the set, 6-4.
The loss drops the Petrels to 11-4 on the season, 1-1 in SAA competition. They will now have a quick turnaround, and will take on Centre today.