It was an early test for men’s tennis in Ohio over the weekend, and they passed after an initial setback against Kenyon. The men from Chicago won two of three dual meets over the weekend as they gradually began to realize their preseason goals.
The previously 17th-ranked Maroons saw their three-game win streak end on Friday as they lost to 12th-ranked Kenyon. The Lords captured four of six matches in singles play and triumphed in two of three doubles matches. A view of their dominance came from the box scores with the Maroons winning just five sets in the nine total matches.
“Obviously we were not pleased with the result of the Kenyon match, but it was an eye-opener for us as we are starting to realize just how important each and every match is to this team,” responded first-year Krishna Ravella.
The Maroons responded with a resounding victory at Denison on Saturday, winning four singles and one doubles match to win by aggregate, 5–4. Top seeds for the Chicago crew, fourth-year Will Zhang, first-year Zsolt Szabo, and third-year Troy Brinker all earned wins in singles while the sensational duo of Ravella and Szabo continued their winning ways in the deuces department.
“Rebounding the way we did against Denison, although we did not play as well as we would have liked to, was key,” Ravella adds. “It was a momentum builder going into Sunday’s match against D-I Dayton, whom we lost to last year.”
The Maroons cleaned up nicely when they encountered Dayton on Sunday as they swept the duals 7–0, winning every singles and doubles match.
“To rebound the way we did and finish the weekend with two strong wins is a sign of positive things to come in the future,” assures Ravella.
To be sure, the Maroons are not content to rest on their laurels. “If anything, we have learned a lot from this weekend,” adds Brinker. “I feel as if our entire team has been baptized with a new life and Kunal Pawa is John.”
The Maroons are also concerned with finding areas of improvement. “There are things we need to work on, such as our doubles play, but slowly and steadily we are getting there,” affirms Ravella of the Maroons’ resolve. Their improvement in doubles is quite evident, and the inspired play of the pair of Ravella and Szabo should provide a model for the others.
The Maroons look to improve on their 5–2 record in a home game against Kalamazoo this coming Sunday.