|Redbird men’s tennis team splits on road trip out East|
|Written by Scott Schnorr, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Monday, 28 March 2011 22:38|
Before heading into the heart of conference play next month, the Illinois State men’s tennis team traveled east to finish its March mayhem of competition against both Columbia and Harvard University.
The Redbirds split the two-game road trip in the east coast after a win over Columbia on Friday, 4-3, and a tough loss to Harvard Sunday, 5-2.
“We played okay and had a good time on our trip,” ISU head coach Cris James said. “We came out here to play some good teams and we needed this to get ready for conference play.”
ISU vs. Columbia
As the Redbirds arrived to New York on Friday, they battled hard against Columbia throughout the day. The ‘Birds came out on top in what was an important first game win on the east coast road trip.
The Redbirds’ 4-3 win over Columbia came after a quick start to the game with the ‘Birds taking the doubles points, giving them their fourth-straight doubles point victory of the month.
The Redbirds finished doubles play on Friday picking up two of the three matches as senior Timon Reichelt and sophomore Alexander Pelaez started the day with their win over Nathaniel Gery and Kevin Kung on the No. 1 court, 8-4.
Freshman Tuomas Manner and senior Matej Zlatkovic took down Cyrill and Tizian Bucher in the No. 2 position, 8-6, while junior Skip Span and freshman Mya Smith-Dennis picked up the lone doubles loss of the day against Haig Schneiderman and Rajeev Deb-Sen on No. 3 court, 8-6.
As the two teams headed into singles play, the Redbirds’ six-match split with Columbia was enough to grant the Redbirds the win.
Reichelt began singles matches on the No. 1 court with a loss to Schneiderman in three sets, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, followed by Peleaz’s win over Cyril Bucher on the No. 2 court, 7-6, 6-1.
Manner defeated Kung in the No. 3 position, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4, while Span picked up his first win of the day over John Yetimoglu in the No. 5 spot, 6-4, 6-4.
“I really liked our toughness,” James said. “We did a really good job of figuring out a way to win and stuck to our game.”
ISU vs. Harvard
When ISU arrived to Cambridge, Mass., on Sunday, the turnout was not exactly what the Redbirds expected as the team fell to Harvard, 5-2, concluding the east coast trip for the Redbirds.
At the beginning of the match the ‘Birds were in total control, sweeping Harvard of all three doubles matches.
Reichelt and Pelaez took care of Casey MacMaster and Aba Omodele-Lucien on the No. 1 court, 8-6, while Zlatkovic and Manner took down Alistair Felton and Andy Nguyen on the No. 2 court, 8-7.
Senior Filip Milijevic teamed up with Smith-Dennis to defeat Jonathan Pearlman and Joshua Tchan, 8-4, in the No. 3 position.
The Redbirds were unable to transition their success from doubles play to singles action as the team lost 5-of-6 singles matches.
Reichelt recorded the only singles win for the ‘Birds as he defeated Omodele-Lucien on the No. 2 court, 7-5, 7-5.
Peleaz suffered a loss on the No. 1 court to Pearlman, 6-2, 6-4, while Milijevic lost his No. 3 match to Felton, 6-3, 6-4.
“Everything looked good after we won the doubles point,” James said. “I’m not exactly sure what happened in singles. We came out a bit flat. We fought hard and had some chances in a few of the matches but could never really get over the hump.”
The Redbirds will take the week off as they prepare for conference play, which begins April 9 against Creighton.