This past Saturday, the No. 2-ranked men’s tennis team inched closer to a perfect season with dominating victories in a doubleheader against Rhodes College (Tenn.) and The University of the South (Tenn.). Both matches were played at Sewanee. Because of the driving distance and the exhaustion associated with a doubleheader, each match was decided once a team had recorded five victories.
“Playing a doubleheader today was tough because we left early in the day, drove over two [hours] and played two teams,” freshman Ian Wagner said. “I think it’s great how positive our team stays even when we are giving up an entire day of our weekend.”
Emory’s first match was against Rhodes. The Eagles won 5-1.
In the singles portion of the match, freshmen Wagner (6-1, 6-1), Eric Halpern (6-4, 6-4) and Alex Ruderman (6-2, 6-3) each won in straight sets.
Matches of No. 1-ranked singles player and senior captain Dillon Pottish, senior captain Chris Goodwin and freshman Brian Kowalski were not scored.
In the doubles portion, junior Elliot Kahler and freshman Wagner won 8-5; likewise, Pottish and Kowalski won 8-3.
The lone defeat came at the expense of doubles team Goodwin and senior captain Will Humphreys, who lost 8-4.
In their next match, the Eagles posted a 5-0 shutout over Sewanee.
In the singles portion, Goodwin won 6-2, 6-1, and Wagner posted a 6-3, 6-0 victory.
Kowalski, Halpern, Ruderman and Kahler’s matches were marked as no results.
In the doubles portion, Goodwin and Humphreys redeemed their earlier defeat by winning 8-5.
The tandem of Kahler and Wagner picked up from where they left off earlier in the day to win 8-3.
Pottish and Kowalski were impressive in an 8-1 romp. The Eagles now have a perfect 17-0 record.
“I do not think we started the season with an undefeated season as a direct goal,” Wagner said. “It has been more of a result of hard work and staying focused going into every match. Everyone does a good job of coming out for each match with a lot of energy.”
Despite their impressive record and national ranking, the players remain grounded.
“We work hard and take it match by match, and we still have a long season ahead of us with UAA’s and NCAA’s,” freshman Kowalski said. “It all starts at practice. Everyone is tired and its getting near the end of the season, but we still need to make the most out of practice and work on the areas of our game that need improvement.”
The Eagles were scheduled to resume play against National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) powerhouse Auburn University Montgomery on April 24.
However, that match has been rescheduled for May 8th.
The team will next compete at the UAA Championships, which take place this
Thursday — Saturday, April 26, 27 and 28.
— Contact Zonair Khan