Shepherd men’s tennis unable to find stride against Gettysburg College

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Senior Austin Thomas, pictured here last season, and the Rams were not consistent enough to come out with a victory over the Bullets Monday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Shepherd University Athletics Department).

The Rams (1-2) fell on the road Monday afternoon to the Bullets (2-0) of Gettysburg College, dropping a 6-3 decision. 

In singles action, sophomore Carter Davis set the tone for the Rams with a resilient 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 win over Bullets’ senior Christian Deschapelles. Freshman Evan Dokken kept up the momentum with his 6-3, 4-6, 10-2 win over Bullets’ junior Nick D’Amore.  

However, the Rams would drop four of the six matches that would epitomize their match with the Bullets with their lack of consistency. The Rams got it handed to them in these two matches, with senior Austin Thomas falling to Bullets’ junior Kevin Maier by a 6-2, 6-1 decision. Junior Clayton Smith did not do much better against Bullets’ freshman Thomas Gilio, as he lost by a 6-3, 6-4 score. 

Freshman Henry Pletcher piled it on with his 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Rams’ sophomore Kaleb Lochner, as the Bullets were starting to take firm control of the match. Freshman Aidan Kennedy took it to Rams’ freshman Nick Ferony, winning their match relatively quickly thanks to a 6-1, 6-1 win. Ferony had difficulty with Kennedy, but he was not the only Ram wishing he would have played better. 

In doubles competition, the Rams took one of the three matches. Davis and Dokken did their part for the Rams, as they each came out with their second victory of the day, this time taking down Deschapelles and D’Amore through a thrilling 8-6 victory. The Rams scrapped hard for this doubles victory, but their happiness was short-lived. 

Maier and Gilio shut out Thomas and Lochner by an 8-0 decision that really deflated the Rams. However, they were not the only Rams who struggled in doubles action, as Pletcher and 6’6” sophomore Jacob Meehan also shut out Ferony and Smith with their 8-0 win.  

Whether it had something to do with Meehan’s height or not, the Rams made too many mistakes to come out with a match victory Monday afternoon over the Bullets. As the 6-3 match score suggests, the Rams did have some success, but had tremendous difficulty sustaining it. 

No matter what the Rams tried, the Bullets seemed to be ready for the challenge, making it tough for the Rams to come out with a road victory. 

The Rams will have some time to think about and improve upon this performance, as they currently do not have any more games scheduled for the time being.  

Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at abrack02@rams.shepherd.edu