The California Lutheran University men’s tennis team defeated the Chapman Panthers 5-3 on March 20 at the Poulson Tennis Center. According to clusports.com, this was the first time the team stepped on the court in two weeks.
“It definitely wasn’t our best performance this season, but we were very relieved to be able to come away with the win,” head coach Michael Gennette said.
The team wanted to shake off some of that rustiness after a two-week span, however they came out slow in the doubles matches going down 2-1.
“During doubles we were having trouble at number two and three with the teams communicating with each other,” Gennette said. “They would often get frustrated after a point and just move on to the next point without working it out.”
Sophomore Fergus Scott and his partner Andrew Slater showed some of that frustration during the doubles match they lost.
“Today was tough. I think recently me and my partner have been struggling a bit for connection on the court, and today was a good example of that,” Scott said. “The guys we played played well and they exposed some of our weaknesses at the net and they sort of dominated with some big shots and we were just struggling to get into the rhythm of the net.”
When singles came around the Kingsmen picked it up tremendously, feeding off each other’s energy and that seemed to be the deciding factor in their victory.
“We were much more competitive in the singles matches and were able to turn the match around and come away with a win having won four out of the five matches that finished,” Gennette said. “We still didn’t play our best in singles though. We’ve had such a busy schedule with matches recently that we haven’t had a chance to practice the way we would like to lately.”
In singles the Kingsmen struck first as junior Gio Valdez won his match 6-0, 6-3 against Brett Buford of Chapman at No. 3, according to clusports.com.
According to clusports.com, Chapman took the match on court No. 4, but Cal Lutheran’s Moises Cardenas put the Kingsmen right back on the board with a win on court No. 1 winning both sets 6-0, 6-3. Senior Jesse Knight also got in on the action coming back after dropping the first set, winning the final three sets to a score of 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.
“The energy level was high during the match, especially in singles when we had our back against the wall,” Gennette said. “Our goal coming into the match today was to stick with the fundamentals in the building blocks for successful tennis which includes keeping up at a high first-serve percentage, making all of our returns off serves and playing smart.”
The clinching win came from Slater, when he caught the fans’ attention with some excitement and went on to capture his match at court No. 6 by a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 margin, according to clusports.com.
The win brought the Kingsmen’s conference record to 2-2. After going 1-2 in a series of non-conference games, they look to take on the Redlands Bulldogs on April 10 for their next match.
Published March 25th, 2015