Bears roll past UMSL to maintain hot streak ahead of UAA tourney

| Enterprise Editor

Senior John Watts plays a game on March 20th. On Wednesday, he won his single and double matches against Division II University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The No. 2 Washington University men’s tennis team extended its winning streak to four with a 7-2 win over Division II University of Missouri-St. Louis on Wednesday, as the University Athletic Association tournament approaches.

The Bears eked out two of three doubles matches against the Tartans before winning five of six singles matches in the road match.

Head coach Roger Follmer said the men successfully executed some of the performance goals they have practiced recently, which included keeping their cool when they hit a great shot or made an unforced error.

“The guys did a very good job of not letting mistakes upset them,” Follmer said. “They did a good job of being more mature on the court.”

The second doubles duo of senior John Watts and freshman Kareem Farah edged UMSL’s Tim Bryant and Jamie Lawlor, 8-6. Meanwhile, seniors Danny Levy and Slavi Fildish pulled out a 9-8 win at third doubles, defeating UMSL’s Alex Cherman and Felipe Naranjo. Both the second and third Wash. U. doubles squads stayed on serve for most of their matches.

“When it was all said and done, we played well in big points down the the stretch,” Follmer said.

At third singles, freshman Adam Putterman split the first two sets against opponent Lawlor, but prevailed in a tiebreaker to take the match, 5-7, 6-3, 11-9.

Meanwhile, junior Max Woods won the 50th singles match of his career with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Bryant at fourth singles.

Woods, however, downplayed the accomplishment.

“I really didn’t think about that. I go out there, do my best and win for the team, and that’s most important,” Woods said. “Individual accomplishments are always second.”

Watts, Levy and Farah rounded out the singles victories for the Bears, notching straight-set wins at first, fifth and sixth singles, respectively.

Farah injured his ankle during his singles match, and while he finished his match, he is questionable for next week’s contests, Follmer said. Follmer hopes Farah can return to action with a few days of rest but added that he doesn’t yet know who might replace Farah should the freshman not be ready.

The Bears have just two matches left before the UAA tournament. They are fresh off a 9-0 win over Carthage College on April 5, a victory that gave the Bears added confidence that they were on the right track to perform well at the UAA tournament.

Still, even after Wednesday’s decisive win, Follmer said that the team will “still have work to do before UAAs.” The team will practice much of this weekend in preparation.

Next up for Wash. U. (11-3) are home matches against No. 18 Lindenwood University on Monday and No. 24 McKendree University on Tuesday. Both matches start at 4 p.m. at Tao Tennis Center.

“We’ll be getting ready mentally and physically for conferences,” Woods said. “We’re going to work hard in these two games and be ready.”

Wash. U. v. UMSL 7-2

1. #1 John Watts (WASHU) def. Hammar, Andreas (UMSL) 6-3, 6-2
2. Anthony, Daniel (UMSL) def. Isaac Stein (WASHU) 6-3, 1-6, 10-5
3. Adam Putterman (WASHU) def. Lawlor, Jamie (UMSL) 5-7, 6-3, 11-9
4. Max Woods (WASHU) def. Bryant, Tim (UMSL) 6-1, 6-1
5. Danny Levy (WASHU) def. Naranjo, Felipe (UMSL) 6-1, 6-0
6. Kareem Farah (WASHU) def. Antwi Adjei, Karl (UMSL) 6-1, 6-3

1. Hammar, Andreas/Anthony, Daniel (UMSL) def. #3 Isaac Stein/Max Woods (WASHU) 8-5
2. John Watts/Kareem Farah (WASHU) def. Bryant, Tim/Lawlor, Jamie (UMSL) 8-6
3. Danny Levy/Slavi Fildish (WASHU) def. Cherman, Alex/Naranjo, Felipe (UMSL) 9-8

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