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The St. Thomas men’s tennis team swept St. Cloud State University Sunday with a 9-0 win.
Despite having three players out due to family emergency, injury and sickness, the Tommies shut out the Huskies with good net play and dominant serves.
Sophomore Brian McCarthy and senior Andy Michels got the Tommies’ first win of the day, overpowering SCSU in doubles 8-5.
Though other players have been moved around, the pair is the only doubles team that has stayed together and achieved No. 1 status.
Peck said the team’s doubles play has always been strong in the past, and this year is no exception. He said a good doubles team consists of two players who become “familiar with each other because they have to feed off each other’s strengths and protect each other’s weaknesses.”
Peck said he stresses doubles play during practices, a strategy evident in all three doubles wins.
Four players defeated their opponents in straight sets, but juniors Peter Wright and Henry Mandell needed tiebreaker games to secure their wins.
This is Wright’s first year playing for the St. Thomas team after transferring from Gustavus Adolphus College, one of the Tommies’ biggest competitors.
Michels, a team captain, said Carleton College and Gustavus are two powerhouses in the MIAC, and St. Thomas is determined to pull ahead this year.
“We’re about as deep as Carleton and Gustavus, so we’re looking to work hard and hopefully beat them,” Michels said.
Peck said many of the St. Thomas players can play singles and doubles well in any match. He added that he is “really happy with how hard we worked and stayed with it.”
By gaining some confidence, practicing well and working hard, the team is “going to win and have fun doing it,” Peck said.
Rita Kovtun can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.