The Maple Leafs will begin the conference tournament off a loss to Grace College.
The Goshen College men’s tennis team saw its conference round robin conclude Tuesday afternoon in a 5-4 loss to Grace College on the Lancers’ home court. With the Crossroads League tournament right around the corner, the Maple Leafs lost their streak of five straight wins.
The Maple Leafs took their first point at No. 3 doubles after coming back from a 4-0 down. Balazs Pirot, a junior, and Michael Oyer, a senior, won eight games in a row after a slow start. This match was their first time playing doubles together.
In singles play, however, the Maple Leafs started with a lot of control in the competition and won two quick matches at No. 5 and No. 6 positions. Aritha Weerasinghe, a sophomore, and Oyer got their victories in straight sets, but, ultimately, losing three games in
In the top of the lineup, the Maple Leafs had a tough time losing both of the top singles games in straight sets.
Pirot, No. 1 singles, said, “I feel it was my best game after the injury, but my opponent just played a really good game.”
Pirot’s opponent Daniel Sanchez, a senior, just came from losing the final in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regionals. Pirot is now focused on the conference tournament, as Maple Leafs have big expectations this season.
“Although we have some injuries, we have a good lineup that can make us win the championship this year,” Pirot said.
Vasanth Palanisamy, a junior, added another victory for the Maple Leafs after a three-set match, 6-1, 1-6, and 6-1, where both players suffered ups and downs and had an irregular game. Palanisamy showed off his skill after being elected as Maple Leaf Athlete of the Week and he overcame the tough opposition he had in the match.
That left Jan Kaasa, a junior and the No. 3 singles, to face the Lancers’ Jacob Stump, a sophomore. Kaasa had a strong match, but he ended up losing in a dramatic three-set match, 6-7, 6-0, and 6-4. After this match, Stump gave Grace College its fifth team point.
After finishing the round robin in fourth position, the Maple Leafs will start the conference tournament on Tuesday, Sept. 30. The men’s tennis will host the quarterfinals against Huntington University’s Foresters.
Stan King, head coach, expressed his happiness of how well the team has done so far, even though they faced many injuries along the way. King is also excited about hosting the quarterfinals against
“It is the first time that we host the conference tournament since they started to play in this way,” he said. “I would like to see a lot of fans supporting the team because it will help us in our game against Huntington.”