Carleton College 7, St. Olaf 2 (box)

Men's tennis gets wins from Wight and Nolan in loss to Carleton

Michael Abdella
April 18, 2012

NORTHFIELD, Minn.- The St. Olaf men's tennis team got singles wins from John Wight and Stephen Nolan but could not overcome a 3-0 deficit after doubles play, as they lost 7-2 to Carleton on Wednesday afternoon at Bell Field Courts.

Coming into the match, both teams were undefeated in MIAC play, as Carleton boasted a 5-0 record, while the Oles were 4-0. However, the Knights swept the three doubles matches to start the afternoon and also took four of the six singles matches to claim the win.

In doubles, Carleton got wins from Peter Dunn and Paul Cooper, Jon Aranda and Avery Rux, and Austin Jiang and Andrew Hwang. Dunn and Cooper got up a quick break en route to a 8-5 win over Andy Catania and John Wight. The loss is just the second of the year for the Ole duo. Aranda and Rux also got off to a quick start and beat Stephen Nolan and Knute Gundersen 8-4. Jon Foss and Jack Dutton had the tightest doubles match of the day, but Dutton was broken in the final game as Jiang and Hwang earned a 8-6 win. Hwang and Jiang are now 5-0 as a pairing this spring.

Carleton continued to hold the upper hand in singles play, but the Oles managed to come out on top of two matches. Wight cruised in the first set of his match against Dunn at first singles, taking it 6-1. Dunn's play picked up noticeably in the second, as he got out to a 5-2 lead. However, Wight saved a few set points and came back to force a tie-breaker, which he won 7-4. In the only match of the afternoon that went to a super tie-breaker, Nolan edged out Hwang 7-6 (3), 4-6, 10-7. Nolan had countless chances to take the first set but eventually pulled it out in a tie-breaker. Hwang broke Nolan in the final game of the second set to force the super tie-break. Nolan led 5-0 in the tie-break before Hwang came back to level it at 6-6. Noticeably fatigued, Nolan gutted out the tie-break 10-7 with solid play from the baseline for his tenth straight win.

Carleton got straight-set singles wins from Avery Rux, Austin Jiang, Paul Cooper, and McCoy Becker. The Knights got solid performances from Rux, Cooper, and Becker, as none of them lost more than three games in a set against Knute Gundersen, Jon Foss, and Charlie Reinertsen, respectively. Reinertsen's defeat was his first in conference play. Jiang, the reigning MIAC Men's Tennis Athlete-of-the-Week, improved to 13-3 on the spring with a 7-6(4), 6-1 victory over Catania at fourth singles. Catania had several chances to take the first set but Jiang took it in a tie-break before cruising in the second set. The loss was also the first in MIAC play for Catania.

St. Olaf falls to 11-2, 4-1 MIAC on the spring and Carleton improves to 18-3, 6-0 in the conference. Carleton and Gustavus are each 6-0 in the MIAC and face-off this weekend with the MIAC regular season title on the line. St. Olaf travels to Arden Hills on Friday to play Bethel in a rescheduled match at 4:30. The Oles then host St. Mary's on Saturday for the second match in as many days. St. Olaf and St. Mary's are scheduled to play at 11 am at Carleton's Bell Field Courts.

Contact media relations specialist Mike Ludwig at (507) 786-3834 or ludwigm@stolaf.edu.