The Oglethorpe men's tennis team suffered a difficult loss Saturday at the Howell Courts, falling to Rose-Hulman 5-4 despite taking a 3-0 lead following the doubles competition. The loss dropped the Stormy Petrels to 1-1 on the season.
The Petrels got off to an outstanding start to the match in the doubles competition, sweeping it 3-0 to put themselves in an outstanding position for the dual match. Sophomore Walker Benson and senior Richard Johnson won 8-5 at the No. 1 doubles position, while freshman Connor Sisson and senior Michael Santaloci won by the same score at No. 2 doubles. Sophomore Calvin Schneider and junior Zoe Raymond then won their No. 3 doubles match 8-3.
The Fightin' Engineers stormed back in the singles portion of the match, though. Santaloci fell 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 3 match and Benson fell 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1. Raymond dropped his No. 4 match 6-4, 6-3 and suddenly the dual match was tied 3-3. Schneider prevailed 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6, though, giving Oglethorpe a 4-3 lead. However, the Engineers won the next two matches, beating senior Matthew Magee 6-1, 7-6(3) at No. 5, then outlasting Johnson in a three-set match 0-6, 6-2, 6-2.
"I have to give Rose-Hulman credit," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "They came out in singles after we swept doubles and took it to us. This was a painful loss for the guys, but we'll learn from it as the season is still in the very early-going."
The Petrels will be back in action March 10-13 when they head to central Florida for spring break. They'll take on six teams in three days, starting with No. 7 Amherst on Sunday, March 10.