The Oglethorpe men's tennis team took on their former conference foe Rose-Hulman, currently ranked 12th in the Central region, at the Downing Howell Courts on Saturday afternoon, and the visiting Fightin' Engineers took a 2-1 lead after doubles en route to a 6-3 victory over the Stormy Petrels. The result dropped Oglethorpe to 1-2 on the season.
Rose-Hulman secured the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles matches to get the dual match off to a good start for them. They defeated sophomores Richard Johnson and Michael Allen 8-3 at No. 1, then knocked off the No. 2 doubles partnership of freshman Zoe Raymond and sophomore Michael Santaloci by the same scoreline. Oglethorpe's No. 3 doubles team of freshman Dustin Bowie and sophomore Jacob Bertram kept Oglethorpe in the dual match, though, defeating their opponent in a tight match, needing a tiebreaker to win 9-8 (7-5). That sent the Petrels into the singles portion of the dual match down 2-1.
The Engineers gave themselves a 3-1 advantage when they took the No. 2 singles match from Bowie, winning 6-1, 6-0. The Petrels fought back, though, getting a big win from Santaloci, 6-3, 6-0, to make it 3-2. Rose-Hulman was able to close it out from there, though, winning the No. 6 match against freshman John Lieng, 6-0, 6-2, then taking the No. 1 match from Johnson, 6-0, 6-4, allowing them to take a 5-2 lead and clinch the dual match.
The final two matches featured a pair of third-set super tiebreakers, with each team taking one of them. Junior Matthew Magee fell behind a set, but came storming back with dominating wins and the second set and in the tiebreaker. He won 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-1). Freshman Zoe Raymond had his match go the other way in the tiebreaker, as he fell 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8).
"I thought we played pretty well today, overall, against a very good Rose-Hulman team," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "We didn't get the result we wanted, but I was pleased with the play of Magee and Santaloci to come away with victories in their matches, and I thought Zoe Raymond fought very hard in a losing effort, as well. We've got a tough assignment tomorrow, but I think we'll be ready to go."
The Petrels will take on Division I Citadel Sunday at 10 a.m. from the Downing Howell Courts. After that, they'll go on the road to take on Covenant on Wednesday before embarking for their spring break trip to Florida late in the week.