Pictured: Catherine Owen (C’21). Photo courtesy of sewaneetigers.com.
By Jeremy O’Neill
The Sewanee Tennis teams finished a daunting weekend in style, with both men’s and women’s teams seeing success in a span where the teams played four matches over a span of two days. Saturday saw the teams splitting up their rosters, with half of the players staying in Sewanee to take on Tennessee Wesleyan and the other half traveling to Nicholasville, Kentucky to play both Transylvania University and Hanover College. The squads were reunited for Sunday’s action against Carson-Newman University.
The 12th Ranked Sewanee women’s team’s trip north to Kentucky featured two dominant performances, with the Tigers winning 17 out of the 18 individual matches to beat Transylvania 9-0 and Hannover 8-1.
Sewanee players won their matches by comfortable margins, with singles players Lilly Stephens (C’22), Morgan Downing (C’22), Alexandra Smyth (C’22), and Jordan Besh (C’22) each winning at least one of their matches with a perfect score of 6-0, 6-0.
The half of the roster that stayed on the domain to face Tennessee Wesleyan on Saturday was just as successful as the Kentucky-bound coalition, securing a 9-0 win over the Bulldogs. The Tiger’s most substantial victory of the matchup came at the No. 1 doubles spot, as Ellie Czura (C’20) and Catherine Owen (C’21) defeated their opponents Helena Cabezas Marti and Elisa Piquero with a flawless score of 8-0.
Unfortunately, the Sewanee athletes were less successful in their Sunday matchup against Carson-Newman University, and lost by a score of 3-6.
On the men’s side, the Felix Mann era of leadership began with quartet of wins against the same opponents as the Women. The 23rd Ranked Tigers only dropped 5 individual matches over the weekend, while racking up a total of 30 wins.
Not all of the Tiger’s wins came easily, however, especially Sunday against Carson-Newman. At the number one singles spot, Andres Carro (C’20) had to fight back in his match against Gabriel Dabdab after dropping the first set 4-6. Carro managed to fight back, however, and captured the second set 6-3 to force a tiebreaker, which he won 10-7.
Another close win for the Tigers came at the number two singles slot, as Jordan Brewer (C’20) was forced to play a third set after winning the first set 6-2 and dropping the second 1-6. Brewer regained control of the match in the final set, however, and cruised to a 6-2 victory.
Reflecting on both his personal victory and the impressive performances from the entire team, Carro stated: “I think [my match against Carson-Newman] really showed how hard the whole team has worked this season because I was losing for most of the match but was able to outlast my opponent in the end. You could see that in the way we won most of the 3-set or 2 plus hour singles matches that were played over the weekend. Our opponents were visibly tired while we had enough energy to perform just as well or better the very next day.”
The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for Tiger Tennis, as the men’s team will travel to Fredericksburg, Virginia to face No. 37 Stevens, No. 14 Kenyon, and No. 20 Mary Washington this weekend. Women’s tennis gets the weekend off to prepare for No. 2 Emory at the ITA National Indoor Quarterfinals in Nashville on Friday, March 1.