The Oglethorpe men's tennis team closed out its fall season Saturday morning with a match against the Atlanta campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design. The visiting Bees came away with a 6-3 victory after taking two of the three doubles matches and four of the six contests in singles play.
The Stormy Petrels got a win by injury walkover in doubles, but they fell in the other two doubles contests, both of them hotly contested. Sophomores Richard Johnson and Michael Allen were locked in a tough battle at No. 1 doubles but fell 8-5 in the end. Meanwhile, the No. 2 doubles combo of junior Rhys Richardson and sophomore Michael Santaloci fought hard but fell 8-4, putting the Bees up 2-1 headed to the singles portion of the competition.
The Petrels got a walkover point from the same SCAD Atlanta injury to begin singles play, tying the dual match up 2-2. The two teams then split the first two matches that finished, with Petrel freshman Brandon Gita falling 6-2, 6-1 at No. 5 and Santaloci winning 7-5, 6-2 at the No. 4 position. Freshman Zoe Raymond found himself locked in a tough battle at No. 3, but he fell 7-6 (0), 6-4, bringing SCAD Atlanta to within a point of securing the dual match.
The final two matches involved the top two singles matches. Johnson fell 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 2 slot, clinching the match for the Bees. At No. 1 singles, Richardson fought hard in a three-set thriller, but tired late in the match. He continued to hang in there, but eventually fell 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-5 for the final 6-3 scoreline.
"This match was a good way to end our fall season, I thought," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "It was a tough result, obviously, but SCAD Atlanta is a good team. We'll enjoy our alumni match tomorrow and then go into winter break and get ready for the spring season. We're a young team that will have some growing pains as we go into the spring, but I think this has the makings of a pretty good team by the end of the season."