The Oglethorpe men's tennis team fell 5-4 to the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops in Orlando, Florida, closing their spring break trip with four wins in six matches. The Stormy Petrels fell to 5-3 on the season with the defeat.
The Petrels won two of the three doubles matches, giving themselves a 2-1 edge headed to the singles competition. Senior Michael Santaloci and freshman Connor Sisson prevailed 8-2 at No. 2 while senior Matthew Magee and sophomore Calvin Schneider came through with an 8-2 win at No. 3. The top-line team of sophomore Walker Benson and senior Richard Johnson hung tough in their match, but their opponents earned a break with the match tied 6-6 and served out the match for what turned out to be a pivotal 8-6 win.
Oglethorpe picked up a couple quick victories in singles. Junior Zoe Raymond won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 and Schneider prevailed 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6. With those wins, the Petrels pulled ahead 4-1. However, the Bishops won the first set of all four remaining singles matches, putting themselves in position for the comeback victory. Santaloci lost 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 and Magee lost 6-3, 6-0 at No. 5, pulling Ohio Wesleyan to within a match, 4-3. Johnson went to a second-set tiebreaker in his match, but fell 7-3 in the tiebreak to tie the dual match up 4-4 and leave it all up to Benson in the top-line singles match. In that match, Benson came back with a 6-4 second-set win after dropping the first 7-5. That set up a winner-take-all 10-point tiebreaker. Ohio Wesleyan's Jack Hibbard served very well in the extra frame and won 10-5, clinching the match for the Bishops.
"This was another great college tennis match," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "We had three of our six matches this week finish 5-4 and we'd won the previous two, but our luck ran out tonight. Still, we had a very positive spring break, going 4-2 for the week and coming very close to 5-1. We are now much more match-tough and it will help greatly with our conference slate coming up."
The Petrels will now head back home to host No. 24 Kalamazoo March 24 at 10 a.m.