Ole men bounced by Saint John's in MIAC quarterfinals
May 3, 2013
ST. PETER, Minn.- The St. Olaf men's tennis team could not overcome a doubles sweep as they fell 5-2 to Saint John's in the quarterfinals of the MIAC Playoffs on Friday afternoon at Swanson Tennis Center.
The fifth-seeded Johnnies (7-11) started off strong by taking a 3-0 lead in the race to five points. The first point came at third doubles where Willie Paul and Zach Shriwise defeated Ben Carlson and Charlie Reinertsen 8-3. Andrew Nagel and Connor Rust topped Ryan Abdella and Joey Kronzer by the same scoreline at No. 2 doubles. The Oles (6-7) had a chance to get a point at No. 1 doubles but Stephen Nolan and Andy Catania were edged by Jack Hansen and Fabricio Moncada in a tie-breaker.
Needing to win five of the six singles matches to advance, St. Olaf won the first two singles matches that finished. Reinertsen gave the Oles their first point with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Connor Rust at No. 3 singles. Reinertsen won the pairs first encounter 10-6 in a super tie-breaker but this time around his steady play lead to a more straight forward win.
The second point came from another straight set win, as Catania was victorious at No. 2 singles against Joe Laue. Catania's play at the net helped him race through the first set 6-1 but the second set was much tighter. Catania served for the match at 5-4 but eventually the set went to a tie-breaker, which Catania won 7-5 to bring the Oles within 3-2.
In a grueling match at No. 1 singles, Moncada outlasted Nolan 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to put the Johnnies within a point of advancing. After winning the first set, Nolan fell behind 5-2 in the second before getting within 5-4 but Moncada then sent the match the distance. In the third set, both players had break chances but Moncada came out on top in the end.
The clinching point came from Hansen at No. 4 singles. Hansen's big serve and ground strokes helped him to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kronzer. After losing the first set, Kronzer went ahead 4-3 in the second set but Hansen proved too tough.
With the matches being played until decision, the match ended with the No. 5 and No. 6 singles still on court. At fifth singles, Nico Gibb had won the first set against Shriwise and Shriwise led 3-2 in the second. Carlson trailed Paul 4-3 in the first set of their match at sixth singles.
With the win, Saint John's advances to face top-seeded Gustavus. Carleton and St. Thomas, seeded two and three respectively, will contest the other semi-final on Saturday.
The loss marked the last match in the Ole careers of seniors Ryan Abdella, Andy Catania, and Charlie Reinertsen. St. Olaf made the MIAC Playoffs in each year of their four year careers. Abdella compiled an 11-13 mark in doubles play. Catania owns a 27-16 mark in singles and also won 28 career doubles matches. Reinertsen picked up 30 singles wins, including 18 in the MIAC, and 18 doubles victories.