With wins over local rivals, tennis teams prepare themselves for the final stretch
Playing its third match in three days, the No. 6 Washington University men’s tennis team swept local rival Principia College on Monday afternoon, advancing to 14-5 on the season.
On senior day, the men honored their captains, seniors Radha Vishnubhotla and Konrad Kozlowski. In his first match since March 12, Vishnubhotla, a three-time academic all-UAA, partnered with freshman Luke McClelland to sweep the Principia second doubles pair, 8-0. Vishnubhotla also secured a swift two-set victory in singles, 6-3, 6-2. Kozlowski also won two matches, collaborating with junior Bernardo Neves to win first doubles, 8-4, and winning third singles, 6-1, 7-5, for his 11th straight singles victory.
“Everyone talks about being captain and everyone wants it on their resume, but then once you have it, you realize that it’s not that easy when you’re the voice behind this team and the voice when I’m not there, it’s hard,” head coach Roger Follmer said, describing the important role Vishnubhotla and Kozlowski have played for the Red and Green. “The captains have matured and improved in their roles as leaders and captains,” he said.
Sophomore Daniel Li played a crucial role in Monday’s victory as well. After dropping his first set in the top singles match, 6-2, he stormed back for a three-set win, 6-1, 10-7, defeating Principia’s junior Daniel Gomez, who had come into the day undefeated on the season. “[Li] found his way and served a lot better down the stretch,” Follmer said.
Li lost in two sets against the University of Chicago on Sunday afternoon, so the win was a nice rebound for him according to Follmer.
Junior J.J. Kroot and sophomore Benjamin van der Sman combined for a victory at third doubles, finishing the doubles sweep for the Bears, their 10th already this spring. Both players also won singles matches in straight sets, and sophomore David Buchinsky rounded out the day, losing just one game as he sealed the sweep for the Bears at sixth singles, 6-1, 6-0.
The men’s team gets a few days to recover from their triad of matches before returning to the court at the end of the week. They host the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater team on Friday at 2 p.m. before a highly-anticipated competition against Northwest Missouri State University on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Forest Park. Northwest Missouri was the last team to beat the Bears at home, so the match will be a chance at revenge for Wash. U.
The No. 15 women’s team beat Division II University of Missouri-St. Louis, 5-2, on Wednesday afternoon, the Bears’ fourth win in the last five matches. The victory brought the Red and Green to 9-10 on the season as the Bears look to finish the regular season on a high note before University Athletic Association championships next weekend.
Senior Brigitte Hodge won her first ever top singles match, defeating UMSL’s Salome Bleuler in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. Junior Sanjna Tripathy picked up two wins on the day, collaborating with freshman Divya Sharma to win second doubles match, 7-5, and winning the fourth singles spot, 6-1, 6-3.
The Bears dropped two singles matches before bouncing back in the fifth and sixth singles matches. At the fifth doubles slot, junior Libby Jubas sailed to a straight sets win, 6-2, 6-2, before freshman Hannah Johnston won a three-set nail-biter, 6-2, 5-7, 10-8. The win was the 20th of Jubas’ career.
After Sunday morning’s tough loss to the University of Chicago, 8-1, the strong defeat of UMSL was an encouraging sign that the women’s recent momentum cannot be stopped. Like the men’s team, the women host the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Friday, at 4:30 p.m., before taking on Centre College on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. for Senior Day.