The Oglethorpe men's tennis team went back and forth with a Millsaps Majors team ranked in the top 10 of the Atlantic South region Sunday and came up a winner, outlasting the visitors 5-4 in a dual match that featured four 3-set singles matches. The win improved the Stormy Petrels to 7-4 overall and 2-0 in SAA play.
The dual match proved competitive across all nine individual matches. In doubles, senior Richard Johnson and freshman Connor Sisson fought hard against their regionally-ranked opponent in the top-line match, but eventually fell 8-6. Seniors Michael Santaloci and Matthew Magee picked up a big victory in the No. 3 match, winning 8-4. They took a lead headed into singles when sophomores Walker Benson and Calvin Schneider won 8-6 at No. 2.
Each side got a straight-sets win to start singles. Magee took the five-line match 6-3, 6-4, while Santaloci fell 6-2, 6-4 at No. 4. Oglethorpe led 3-2 with four matches going into decisive third sets.
Oglethorpe pulled to within a single match of clinching victory after Johnson earned a clean sweep in his third set and won 3-6, 6-3, 6-0. Schneider won his first set, but dropped the second to force the third and then got blanked in the decisive set, falling 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. With the Petrels leading 4-3, Benson earned the decisive point. He came back from losing the first set to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and clinch the big regional win for the Petrels.
"This was an outstanding effort and an outstanding victory for our team!" said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "Millsaps is a very good team, but our guys fought it out up and down the lineup. You don't often see matches with four of the six singles matches going to a third set. This was a great college tennis match! It's been several years since we beat a team ranked in the top 10 in our region, but our guys earned it this afternoon."
The Petrels will next hit the courts on Wednesday, when they welcome Piedmont to the Howell Courts at 3:30 p.m.