Men’s tennis: Bears take all nine matches against Carthage College

| Sports Reporter

Junior Isaac Stein hits a forehand. Stein won his singles match against Carthage 7-5, 6-3.

Dropping only one set in nine matches, the No. 2 Washington University men’s tennis team continued its hot streak with a 9-0 sweep of Carthage College at the Tao Tennis Center on Saturday.

To start off the day, the Bears won all three doubles matches, which, according to Head Coach Roger Follmer, is always a key to victory.

“We did a very good job in doubles, and we got stuff going,” Follmer said. “We took care of the basics: the first ball, the second ball shots, the serve, the return, the first volley.”

Leading the doubles charge was the No. 3 doubles team—juniors Isaac Stein and Max Woods, who defeated Sammy Ramoni and Jeffrey Lotz, 8-1.

“When we are playing our best doubles, we are attacking the net, we are being aggressive and we definitely did that…I think we need to continue doing that for the rest of the season,” Stein said.

Getting ahead early in doubles took some of the heat off of singles players, according to senior John Watts.

“Whenever you are able to jump out 3-0 in doubles, it really just gives everyone an advantage for singles, just because the other team knows that they really have to win every singles match in order to win,” Watts said.

Watts handily defeated Sammy Ramoni of Carthage, 6-0, 6-1, in first singles. “I think I played pretty well, and [my opponent] was a little discouraged about how the match was going so far, so I just tried to stay on top of him [and] play well,” Watts said.

In addition to Watts’ win, Stein, freshman Adam Putterman, junior Max Woods, senior Danny Levy and freshman Gary Parizher each recorded singles victories to complete the sweep.

With only three more matches until the University Athletic Association championships, the team feels like the match against Carthage was an indicator that the squad is moving in the direction of where it needs to be.

“We have been working a lot on proving a lot of things, like our competitiveness in matches,” Watts said. “I think we have some more goals to improve on to eventually get to where we want to be, but getting through a match like this and doing very well, I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Stein believes that a key element to proving this competitiveness is to be fitter and mentally tougher than his opponent. Stein explained that as a match progresses, being able to outlast one’s opponent is pivotal to winning the match.

“One of the things that Coach stresses is staying composed and being confident—so if you are in a tight situation, loving the tight situation and battling your way out of it,” Stein said. “[In my last match], I think I stayed a little more mentally composed than [my opponent] did, and I think some of the conditioning I’ve been doing really paid off because I felt fresh, even late in the match.”

Wash. U. (10-3) returns to action on Wednesday, April 14, taking on Division II opponent University of Missouri-St. Louis (2-6).

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