The Oglethorpe men's tennis team fell to the No. 25 Kalamazoo Hornets 9-0 Saturday morning at the Howell Courts. The result dropped the Stormy Petrels to 5-4 on the season headed into their SAA slate.
The Hornets got the match started with an 8-0 win over sophomore Walker Benson and senior Richard Johnson. The Petrels kept the other two doubles matches closer, though. Senior Michael Santaloci and freshman Connor Sisson fell behind 5-2 to start the match at No. 2, but they came back with a service break to pull to within a game. Holding a 6-5 lead, though, the Kalamazoo tandem earned a break of their own and closed out the match 8-5. Senior Matthew Magee and sophomore Calvin Schneider held tight with their opponents in the No. 3 match the whole way, but were broken down 7-6 to clinch the match for the Hornets and give them a 3-0 lead.
Kalamazoo quickly took a 4-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Santaloci at No. 4. They proceeded to clinch the dual match with a 6-0, 6-2 win over junior Zoe Raymond at No. 3. Johnson fought hard in the opening set at No. 2, but suffered a service break down 5-4 and fell 6-4. He wound up falling 6-1 in the second set. After falling 6-2 in the first set, Schneider earned a second-set tiebreaker. He fell 7-5 in the tiebreak, though. Benson went ahead 5-2 in the opening set in the top-line singles match, but his opponent came back to force a tiebreaker and win it 7-4. Benson fell 6-1 in the second set. Magee fought hard at No. 5 but fell 6-3, 6-3.
"We competed hard today," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "The final score did not reflect the closeness of several matches. We seemed to be able to win three points a game but we just couldn't find the fourth. We lost so many deuce games. I was extremely pleased with the play of our No. 2 and 3 doubles pairings, and with the singles play of Benson, Johnson and Schneider. Playing tough teams like this will only help us get ready as conference play starts next weekend."
The Petrels will get SAA play started Saturday at 10 a.m. from the Howell Courts when they welcome Birmingham-Southern.