St. Olaf College defeated the St. Thomas men’s tennis team (10-3 overall, 6-1 MIAC) 7-2 Saturday in St. Paul.
“We had so many opportunities here,” coach Terry Peck said. “We had two matches that we were totally in control, and they sort of got away from us.”
The Tommies lost two of their initial three doubles matches, which put them in a hole once their singles matches began.
“Obviously you want to win your first match,” junior Brian McCarthy said. “You want to sweep doubles to get on the right track and get the lead ahead of you.”
Senior Daniel Cooper and McCarthy lost their doubles match to the Oles’ Andy Catania and John Wight 8-6. McCarthy lost again in his singles match against Knute Gunderson 7-6, 6-3, but Cooper was able to shake off the first loss and won a close singles match with Wight 7-6, 6-0.
Cooper attributed the success in his singles match to short-term memory and re-focusing for the team.
“That gave me that little extra motivation because I knew I had to really buckle down to win in singles. I just stayed focused and tried to forget the doubles match,” Cooper said. “Next time we just have to buckle down a little bit in the doubles, and hopefully the momentum will swing our way.”
Peck said that his team gave “a lot of free points away” and the players weren’t on top of their games.
“We weren’t focused,” Peck said. “We were just a little inconsistent and that is all fixed quite easily.”
The Tommies have two matches left this season and both of them are away. They play Gustavus on April 22 and Carleton on April 27.
“It was a good experience for us, and it will help us down the line here,” Peck said. “We have a lot of matches to play and for the conference tournament, this was good, we needed this.”
Nick McAndrews can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.