Ole men top Mac to gain MIAC playoff berth
April 30, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The St. Olaf men's tennis team topped Macalester College 6-3 on Tuesday afternoon to claim a spot in the MIAC Tennis Playoffs.
The Oles, winners of three of their last five, took four of the six singles matches and two of the three doubles flights. Five of the six singles matches went to third set tiebreakers, with St. Olaf winning three of those matches.
In doubles, St. Olaf got wins at the top two spots. Stephen Nolan and Andy Catania earned an 8-5 win over Brian Utz and Max Edwards at the No. 1 position. Joey Kronzer and Ryan Abdella topped Stephen Tyndel and Max Soghikian 8-3 at second doubles to level their mark at 3-3. Kai Peterson and WIlson Merrell got the Scots on the board with a 8-5 victory over Charlie Reinertsen and Ben Carlson.
Heading into singles, the Oles needed to gain a split of the six matches to clinch the playoff berth. The lone singles match that did not go to a third set tiebreaker was the match between Carlson and Peterson at No. 5 singles, which Carlson won 6-4, 6-3 despite being down early.
St. Olaf held a 4-2 advantage after the teams split the No. 2 and No. 3 singles matches. At second singles, Tyndel came back from a set down against Catania to claim a 4-6, 6-4, 10-5 win. Reinertsen lost an early 3-0 lead in the first set of his match against Edwards but took the first set 7-5. Edwards then responded by taking the second set 6-0. In a back-and-forth tiebreaker, Reinertsen came out on top 10-8.
Attention then switched to the fourth and sixth singles matches, which were both in super tiebreakers as well. At sixth singles, Sam Naden finished strong in the tiebreaker to defeat Nico Gibb 6-1, 2-6, 10-6. With the score at 4-3 in favor of St. Olaf, Kronzer sealed the win thanks to a big comeback in the super tiebreaker. Trailing 5-1, the first-year won six straight points en route to an eventual 10-8 win.
With the outcome decided, the last match on court was the No. 1 singles match between Stephen Nolan and Brian Utz. The first two sets each went to tiebreakers with each player winning one. Utz took the first set tiebreak 8-6 before Nolan bounced back to win the second 7-4. Nolan then ground out a 10-5 win in the super tiebreak to complete the 6-3 win.
The win sends the Oles to the MIAC Playoffs as the fourth seed, while Macalester finishes the year 8-9, 3-6 in the MIAC. St. Olaf (6-6, 5-4 MIAC) will play fifth-seeded Saint John's University (6-11, 5-4 MIAC) on Friday at 12 p.m. in the first round of the six-team MIAC playoffs in St. Peter, Minn. St. Olaf defeated SJU 6-3 on April 13.