Men's tennis team closes out regular season with win over Bethel
April 30, 2011
ROSEVILLE, Minn.- The St. Olaf men's tennis team closed out their regular season schedule with an 8-1 win against Bethel University Saturday afternoon at the 98th Street Lifetime Fitness.
Coming into the match, no player on the St. Olaf roster had ever been part of a team win over Bethel. Bethel was also fighting for their MIAC playoff lives but the Oles swept the three doubles matches to get off to a perfect start. All three of the matches were close and highly competitive but the teams of Knute Gundersen and Will Mitchell, John Wight and Charlie Reinertsen, and John Foss and Ryan Abdella all came out on top. The Oles reshuffled their line-up as a result of Andy Catania's absence due to appendicitis. Reinertsen and Wight, playing together for the first time this season, won their match at second doubles 8-6. In another 8-6 match, Foss, not usually a part of the doubles line-up, teamed up with Abdella to win at third doubles. At first doubles, Gundersen and Mitchell won in a tiebreaker, 9-8.
Full of confidence after the doubles sweep, the Oles used their momentum to win five of the six singles matches. Winning for St. Olaf were Wight, Gundersen, Foss, Mitchell, and Abdella. Wight won his second straight match at first singles. Gundersen snapped a five-match losing streak with a solid performance at second singles. Foss and Mitchell cruised to comfortable victories at fourth and fifth singles losing just four games each. The loss of Catania gave Abdella the opportunity to play singles for the first time this year. He took full advantage by coming from 5-2 down in the first set to win 7-5. 6-1. The lone defeat of the afternoon for the Oles was Reinertsen's narrow loss at third singles. After winning a close first set, Reinertsen lost the second set in a tiebreaker before dropping a super-tiebreaker 10-7.
The Ole men now have a week to prepare for the MIAC playoffs, which start this coming weekend (May 6-7). St. Olaf (6-3) has locked-up the fourth seed behind Gustavus, Carleton, and St. Thomas. Hamline (3-3), Concordia (3-5), and Macalaster (2-5) each have a shot to earn the #5 seed. The Oles will play the fifth seeded team in the first round.