The Goshen College Maple Leafs hosted their first match in Crossroads League tournament history on Tuesday night, where the Maple Leafs defeated Huntington 5-4 in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.The Maple Leafs had a good start with a 2-1 lead after the doubles matches. Balazs Pirot, a junior, and Jon Kaasa, a junior, played their second match of the season together at No. 1 doubles and beat the Foresters No.1 doubles 8-2. Aritha Weerasinghe, a first-year, and Michael Oyer, a senior, played together for the first time this season and they had a 8-6 win at No.3 doubles.
The first victory in singles for the Maple Leafs came from the bottom of the singles lineup, where Oyer, put the Leafs’ third point on the board in a 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6 singles. At No. 4, Vasanth Palanisamy, a junior, added another straight sets victory 6-2, 6-2 to put Goshen up 4-1.
After these two quick victories, the Goshen College team dropped a match at No.3 singles. Kaasa lost a two-set match 6-2, 7-5 against the Foresters’ Adrian Beloqui, a sophomore. The next match won was from No.5 singles. Weerasinghe beat his counterpart in a tough game due to his injury in the left wrist. Weerasinghe had a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
With the game already over because of Weerasinghe’s victory, the players at No.1 and No.2 spots, Pirot and Perez, retired from their matches to avoid having more problems with the injuries that they suffered through this season. Both of the GC players were leading their matches at the time that they retired.
“It was a memorable win for Maple Leaf men’s tennis,” King said. “All the players gave everything in the tennis court and we won fantastic matches. We also had a huge fan support that helped us to win this game against a really good team as Huntington University. It was a great experience for the team and it will help all the players for the next game against Marian.”
All the players were really happy after the victory and they also appreciated all the support they received though the game.
“It was great to have a lot of people around,” Kaasa said. “I am sure that the fans intimidated Huntington players and they also helped us as a team.”
With this win, the Maple Leafs moves on to face top-seeded Marian University in the semifinal on Thursday.