Men’s tennis wins fourth consecutive match

Anthony Michalovitz

The UW Oshkosh men’s tennis team won its fourth consecutive game after defeating Edgewood College on March 6 at the Oshkosh YMCA Tennis Center. In singles play, the Titans captured the bottom four out of six total matches. Junior Adam Martin was UWO’s highest individual winner, squeezing by Evan Stone in a tiebreaker, 6-7, 6-0 (12-10). Head coach James Lewison said incorporating many tiebreakers into their practices and the players being greedier for those crucial points has helped them in close sets. “The team has improved as a whole in playing well under pressure since struggling in tiebreakers early in the season,” Lewison said. “They all are extremely competitive so the main challenge for them is to channel that into positive energy which they have been able to do to succeed.” The fourth flight was taken by freshman Adam Hawley 6-4, 6-1 against Jaime Benavides. Sophomores Logan Zastrow and Jordan Andersen finished up with wins in the No. 5 and No. 6 singles. Zastrow triumphed over Andrew Martinez, 6-2, 6-3, while Andersen downed Alex Hadjiev, 7-5, 6-4. The Eagles managed to secure the No. 1 and No. 2 singles with efforts from Austin Papenthien and Brian Davenport. Papenthien outplayed sophomore Vincent Gorski, 6-2, 7-6 (3), and Davenport defeated freshman Ryan Kuzmanovic, 6-2, 3-6 (10). Regarding doubles, at No. 2 Benavides and Stone snuck by Hawley and Martin in a close match 9-7. The Titans outplayed the Eagles in No. 1 and No. 3 doubles as Gorski and Kuzmanovic won 8-4 against Davenport and Papenthien, while sophomore David Leffler and freshman William O’Connell dominated 8-1 against Hadjiev and Martinez. Gorski said the team’s objective was to start off on the right foot in doubles. “We really focused on sweeping or getting the lead after doubles, which we did in both matches and this gave us tons of momentum going into the singles matches,” Gorski said. Prior to Edgewood, Oshkosh hosted Lawrence handing them their 13th straight loss in this matchup on March 7 at the Oshkosh YMCA Tennis Center. Lewison said this matchup was most certainly marked on his calendar as his team faced off against Lawrence’s Coach Francour. “I have a ton of respect for Coach Francour, not just for being an amazing coach but also for being a supportive friend,” Lewison said. “I believe Coach Francour is one of the elite coaches in Division III tennis and I would not have been able to get nearly the amount of accomplishments back when I played for Oshkosh if he wasn’t my coach. If I am being half the coach for my team that Francour was to me, then I feel I am doing a solid job.” Oshkosh had four individual winners all coming at the bottom of the lineup. Martin beat Bill Schuman-Kline in the third flight, 6-4, 6-0. Kuzmanovic defeated Adam Busch in the fourth flight, 6-2, 6-0. The final two individual victories came from Zastrow and Leffler. Zastrow defeated Ethan Perushek in the fifth flight, 6-2, 6-0, while Leffler edged Izaya Turenne in the sixth flight, 6-3, 6-3. O’Connell said the team’s mindset will lead them to success throughout the season. “The key to keep having success throughout the rest of the season is mindset,” O’Connell said. “I believe that when we have a positive mindset we are at our best playing level and can beat anyone.” Lawrence’s David Jumes and Brian DeCorte were their two individual winners at No. 1 and No. 2. Jumes overcame Gorski, 6-3, 6-1, and DeCorte topped Hawley, 6-3, 6-4. Gorski and Kuzmanovic along with Andersen and Zastrow gave the Vikings problems in doubles play. At No. 1, Gorski and Kuzmanovic outclassed David Brooker and Schuman-Kline, 8-2. At No.3, Andersen and Zastrow swept Adam Busch and Mitchell Kaspryzk, 8-0. The Vikings triumphed in the No. 2 doubles as DeCorte and Jumes outperformed Hawley and Martin, 8-4. UWO’s next meet will be a doubleheader against Augustana College (Ill.) in Madison at 9 a.m. and Carthage College in Kenosha at 4 p.m. on March 13. O’Connell said he is very proud of his teammate’s performance. “We played solid tennis against Lawrence and Edgewood, just solid,” O’Connell said. “We didn’t go for big shots, we kept the ball in play, and we played smart. Beating ourselves is our biggest factor in losing to teams, not our skill level. We made our opponents make the mistakes and try and hit the big shots, and we came out on top both matches.”