Men’s Tennis falls short in tight matches
The Santa Clara
January 25, 2018
The Santa Clara Men’s Tennis team finished 1-2 this past weekend at their dual match season opener at the East Coast Challenge in West Point, New York.
In the tournament hosted by Army, Santa Clara played Yale University, Florida Atlantic University and Army. Their game against Yale ended with a 4-2 loss, followed by another 4-2 loss to Florida Atlantic. In their third and final match of the tournament, Santa Clara beat Army 4-0.
“In the game against Army, we impressed ourselves pretty early on when we got off to a great start in the doubles,” said Head Coach Niall Angus. “That helped us use the momentum going into the singles. With Florida Atlantic and Yale, we had a really tight doubles match in both of those matches, and so we had to lift ourselves up. It’s always difficult playing from 1-0 behind, so getting off to a good start in the doubles was massive help to us.”
Santa Clara’s singles and doubles sweep against Army was their first win of the dual match season. In their match against Yale, Santa Clara’s Connor Garnett won the team’s first point in singles play, followed by another win from Andrew Gu. Though this cut Yale’s lead to 3-2, Yale came back and won 4-2.
The match was tight against Florida Atlantic in singles play. Santa Clara’s Jesus Tapiador Barajas looked like he had a certain victory on court three, until Florida completely took over. Florida Atlantic won on all three courts, bringing their record to 4-2 and beating Santa Clara.
The team also had close doubles play with Florida Atlantic and Yale, but ended up falling behind in both. Against Yale, Santa Clara held their own and played all matches to tie-breaks, but Yale pulled ahead at the end and won on courts two and three.
Despite two losses at their season opener, Angus was not disappointed. At the indoor tournament, the Santa Clara team—which typically plays outdoors—competed against teams that were accustomed to playing indoors.
“I think we exceeded expectations,” Angus said. “We play as a unit, and we’re pretty deep down the lineup. Some teams have very strong guys up front and weaker guys down the bottom. We’re very similar the whole way through the lineup, which allows us to compete at every single spot, rather than giving away in certain spots.”
Despite his optimism, Angus explained that the team needs to work on being more aggressive and concise with their movements. While their passion is unquestioned, their passiveness has oftentimes lost them games.
“It’s about taking opportunities,” Angus said. “It’s about getting more experience playing against good opposition so that when we’re put in those positions, we can take them rather than kind of waiting for our opponents to make mistakes. At the highest level, you have to take your opportunities, rather than wait for them to be given to you.”
The team will have the chance to take those opportunities in upcoming games.
They play Holy Names University and Sonoma State University on Saturday, Jan. 27 as well as UC Santa Cruz on Sunday, Jan. 28 when they host both teams at their home court.
Contact Addy Camisa at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.