The Adrian College mens’ tennis team lost a pair of conference games over the weekend, dropping the teams record to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play. While the start to the season might not have been ideal, the team knows their record is not indicative of their level of play.
“We had a tough couple matches this past weekend. Though against Hope, both Ryan Delacey and I lost in third set tiebreakers, so it was really close,” said junior Cameron Hamilton.
The Bulldogs started their weekend off on Saturday with a 7-2 loss to Hope College in the team’s first conference match of the year. After a quick turnaround the team played their second conference game of the year Sunday, falling to Kalamazoo College 9-0.
During the Hope match on Saturday, freshman Ryan Delacey played in the number one singles spot, where he would eventually fall to Hope’s Parker Bussies 5-7, 6-0, and 10-6. Hamilton took on Hope’s Kyle Kreps in the second singles spot, eventually losing to Kreps 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), and 10-8.
Playing in the third singles spot, Adrian senior Alex Ziajor was defeated by Hope’s Cody Herbruck 6-1 and 6-1. Freshman Alex Holdren lost 6-1 and 6-1 to Hope’s Jonathan Panzer and sophomore Ron Hilliard fell to Hope’s Matthew Culver 6-0 and 6-0.
In keeping with the theme of the day, the doubles portion of the match would end similar to the singles matchups. In the first doubles match, Delacey and Hamilton would lose a hard fought match to Bussies and Culver 8-4. Competing in the second spot, Ziajor and Holdren would fall to Hope’s Kreps and Herbruck 8-2.
After a brief layover the Bulldogs traveled to Kalamazoo College Sunday, where the team would eventually fall to the 5-9 Hornets, 9-0.
During the singles matches, Delacey, Hamilton, Hilliard, and Ziajor would each lose to their Hope counterparts 6-1 and 6-0. In the remaining singles matches Holdren and sophomore Tom Smendzuik would meet the same fate as their teammates, with Holdren losing 6-0 and 6-0 and Smendzuik 6-0 and 6-2.
Smendzuik, who was playing in his first collegiate match, saw the loses as a unique learning experience.
“I personally played in my first collegiate match, but lost both of my matches certainly learning how far I have come as a tennis player and really where I need to be,” Smendzuik said.
In doubles, the Adrian pairing of Delacey and Hamilton would have the most success, as they lost to Nate Eddy and Mark Denenfeld 8-2. The remaining doubles match-ups would see Ziajor and Holdren fall to Hope’s Alex Dombos and Peter Rothstein 8-0, while the AC pairing of Hilliard and Smendzuik was defeated by Alan Faber and David DeSimone 8-1.
Even though the team has lost three straight matches, they know they can’t afford to dwell on the past. The team has six games remaining in the season, including three conference matches, each of which are crucial to their post-season hopes.
“We came out and played as best we could, but they were just good teams. It was an experience that I think has made us better,” said Delacey.
The team will be back in action on Thursday, as they travel to Albion College for a conference match.