St. Olaf 7, Bethel 2 (box)

Ole men use doubles sweep to defeat Bethel

Michael Abdella
April 21, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.- Three doubles wins were the catalyst for the St. Olaf men's tennis team in a 7-2 MIAC win over Bethel on Saturday night at Baseline Tennis Center.

St. Olaf (5-4, 4-2 MIAC) got off to early leads in each of the doubles matches and got four singles wins to give their playoff chances a boost. Reggie Ronning and Steve Schull won their singles matches in super tie-breakers for Bethel (4-10, 1-6 MIAC).

In the doubles sweep, the teams of Stephen Nolan and Andy Catania, Joey Kronzer and Ryan Abdella, and Charlie Reinertsen and Ben Carlson were victorious for the Oles. Nolan and Catania jumped out to a 6-0 lead over Ronning and Tucker Morris and held on for an 8-6 win. Kronzer and Abdella finished strong by winning the last four games in an 8-5 defeat of Kirby Ronning and Luke Palmquist. Reinertsen and Carlson made it two wins out of two as a duo as they topped Schull and Brett Lizotte 8-4.

St. Olaf's singles depth paid off as the Oles won at fourth, fifth, and sixth singles, each in straight sets. After a comfortable first set, Kronzer was pushed harder in the second set by Kirby Ronning but came out victorious 6-1, 6-4. Carlson fell behind 3-0 to Palmquist before winning 12 of the final 13 games in a 6-3, 6-1 win. Nico Gibb improved to 4-1 in conference play by virtue of a 6-4, 6-2 win over David Leafblad.

The top of the singles line-up saw three super tie-breakers with the Royals coming out on top in two of the three. St. Olaf's win came from Stephen Nolan, who picked up an impressive comeback win against Morris. Nolan dropped the first set 6-2 but managed to take the second set in a tie-breaker. Nolan was then the steadier player in the super tie-breaker, which he won 10-5. After losing the first set to Catania in a tie-break, Reggie Ronning earned a 6-7, 6-2, 10-8 win at second singles. In another marathon match featuring long grinding rallies at third singles, Steve Schull outlasted Reinertsen 6-3, 4-6, 10-7.

With three MIAC matches remaining, the Oles sit fourth in the conference standings. The top six teams make the playoffs. Next up for St. Olaf is back-to-back matches against Carleton and Macalester on Wednesday and Thursday. The Oles face the Knights at home at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

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