The Shepherd Rams men’s tennis team (3-4, 1-1 MEC) started out the Hilton Head Tournament with a 7-2 match victory over their Division III opponent, the Arcadia University Knights (3-2), on Monday afternoon, March 12, in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Monday afternoon’s match came as a welcome sign for the Rams, who previously had a 1-2 record so far in 2018.
In the second singles match of the day, Rams freshman Evan Dokken got into a bit of trouble early on against Knights sophomore Drake Hanak. Against Dokken, Hanak won three games in the first set and two in the second set. However, Dokken would display great composure and resolve in being able to close out the match against Hanak later on.
The fourth singles match went down to the wire between Rams senior Lewis Charette and Knights junior John Zinzer. Charette won the first set against Zinzer, but Zinzer did not go down easily, as he would go on to win the second set by a 6-1 margin.
This forced a tiebreak, where Charette adjusted to Zinzer’s tactics and came out on top for another victory for the Rams.
Shepherd would go on to win five other matches on the afternoon against Arcadia. No matter what the Knights tried, the Rams almost always had an answer.
The Knights did manage to find their stride a few times against the Rams, however, in the match. In doubles action, Hanak and Zinzer came out with a 9-8 (7-5) victory over Shepherd’s Clayton Smith, a junior, and Caleb Lochner, a sophomore. It was not always easy, but Hanak and Zinzer gave everything they had to try and bring some sort of fire and inspiration to the rest of their team with their doubles match victory.
Knights junior Jaime Zeng Zhu had a dominating victory over Lochner in singles action, coming out with a 6-2, 6-3 win in the third singles match of the day.
It was a bit of a rough day for Lochner, but these two victories by the Knights were not near enough to help them come out with an overall match victory against the Rams.
Shepherd displayed more consistency overall than Arcadia was able to on this particular afternoon, helping them come out with a convincing 7-2 match victory.
On Tuesday, March 13, the Rams will continue the Hilton Head Tournament with another match against Wisconsin Lutheran College at 10:30 a.m. Shepherd will be attempting to win its second match in a row for the first time this season.
The tournament runs through Saturday, March 17, giving the Rams ample opportunity to work on and improve their game.
Information in this article was obtained from Arcadia University’s Athletics Department.
Anthony Bracken is the sports editor of The Picket. He can be reached at email@example.com