Cardinals cruise past Carroll, but drop another heartbreaker to UW-L
WINONA, Minn. The day started out on a high note, but ended in heartbreak for the Saint Mary's University men's tennis team.
The Cardinals won five of the six singles matches and went 2-for-3 in doubles, as they cruised to a 7-2 nonconference win over Carroll Sunday morning at the SMU Tennis Center.
SMU didn't have the same type of good luck in their second match of the day, however, as UW-La Crosse, behind wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, slipped past the Cardinals 5-4.
"The guys played their hearts out all day," said SMU coach Jeff Halberg, whose team had opened its season with a 7-2 loss to Carleton on Saturday. "We were pretty much in control the whole way (against Carroll), but the (UW-La Crosse) match was one of those matches that could have gone either way."
And it almost did.
After splitting the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches, with Tyler Stevenson (Neenah, Wis.) and Walter Manino (Chicago, Ill.) posting an 8-3 win at No. 1, the Cardinals dropped a heartbreaking 9-8 decision at No. 2 to give UW-L a 2-1 lead heading into the singles competition.
Stevenson, Manino and Adam Solseth (Shakopee, Minn.) posted straight set wins, but the Eagles won at No. 3, No. 5 and No. 6 singles to ice the win.
"It was such a tough match. We felt last year like we let one get away but this time, everyone played so well, it's hard to feel too disappointed," said Halberg, whose team also dropped a 5-4 decision to the Eagles a year ago, and has never beaten UW-:L in a dual meet. "It was one of those matches that could have gone either way unfortunately, we came up just a big short."
SMU left little doubt in their first match of the day against Carroll, getting singles wins from Stevenson, Manino, Tony Miller (Rochester, Minn.), Solseth and Tom Vollman (Oak Park, Ill.), while Stevenson-Manino and Solseth-Vollman won at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, respectively.
"There was some great tennis played, so, despite the way the day ended, I'm pretty pleased with our performance," said Halberg. "The season is just two days old, but I'm pretty impressed with what I've seen thus far."