The Oglethorpe men's tennis team fell behind after the doubles portion of the competition Saturday afternoon in Danville, Kentucky, but they came back with a vengeance, sweeping all six singles matches to defeat the homestanding Centre Colonels 7-2. The result improved the Stormy Petrels to 9-4 on the season overall and a perfect 3-0 in SAA play.
Centre ambushed the Petrels a bit in the doubles competition. They jumped on senior Richard Johnson and freshman Connor Sisson 8-5 in the top-line match and knocked off sophomores Walker Benson and Calvin Schneider 8-2 in the No. 2 match. Oglethorpe salvaged what turned into a pivotal No. 3 match, though, as seniors Matthew Magee and Michael Santaloci secured an all-important 8-6 win to make it 2-1 in favor of the Colonels going into singles.
The Petrels quickly turned things around in singles after picking up the win at No. 3 doubles. Santaloci, Magee and Schneider made quick work of their opponents in the Nos. 4-6 matches, respectively. Santaloci knocked off his opponent 6-3, 6-1; Magee also won 6-3, 6-1; and Schneider swept his opponent 6-0, 6-0. That vaulted the Petrels into the lead, 4-2, and brought them to within a point of clinching the match. Junior Zoe Raymond clinched for the Petrels, winning 6-2, 6-0 at No. 3 to garner his team's fifth point.
After the clinch, Johnson secured a 6-4, 6-3 win over his opponent at No. 2 while Benson came through on the top line with a 6-7(3), 6-3, 1-0(8) win, coming back from losing the first set to force a 10-point tiebreak for the match and winning that 10-8.
"Centre came out ready to play on their senior day and basically took it to us in doubles," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "We recovered to salvage the No. 3 match or they'd have had tremendous momentum going into singles. We responded strongly in sweeping the singles matches. Hopefully, we can get a better start tomorrow against Sewanee."
The Petrels travel to Tennessee on Sunday to take on No. 18 Sewanee at 11 a.m. Eastern time.