By Chrissy Segrest
Elm Staff Writer
With a small roster of just 10 men and led by newly hired Head Coach Oliver Reynolds, the men’s tennis team took on their first opponent on Saturday, Feb. 24. Case Western Reserve is ranked No. 15 in all of NCAA Division III tennis, and Washington College had the pleasure of playing them in Newport News, Virginia.
The matches started out looking strong, with the doubles and singles teams evenly matched up. For first doubles, seniors Luke Weaver and Justin Panepinto lost narrowly by a 8-3 margin. Second doubles had the same fate, with freshmen Kyle Hickey and Andrew Smith losing 8-2. Third doubles looked similar, with senior John Niswander and junior Chris Salisbury going 8-0 on the day.
For first singles, Salisbury lost two extremely close ones, going 7-6 and 6-4. For second singles, Weaver was down 6-0 but was able to put up a fight and only lose by two, going 7-5 on his second set of the day.
“With losses, it’s a lot easier to see exactly what we need improved,” said freshman Koby Bonta. “Luke Weaver took some tips like getting lower from Coach to go from 6-0 in the first set to 7-5 [in the second]. That’s huge.”
Bonta himself lost by only a couple narrow points on the day, going 6-1 and 6-2. At fourth singles, Hickey was halted by a 6-2 set, twice. For fifth and sixth singles, Panepinto and Smith both lost on 6-2, 6-1 scores.
The next home match for the Shoremen will be on Friday, March 2 where they take on Division I College of Charleston at 4:30 p.m.