Cardinal men's dominance in singles carry SMU to win over Saints
DULUTH, Minn. The Saint Mary's University men's tennis team certainly didn't make life easy on themselves Sunday afternoon in their nonconference match against St. Scholastica.
The Cardinals, fresh off a 6-3 loss to Hamline in which they dropped all three doubles matches, found themselves heading into the singles portion of Sunday's match against the Saints down 2-1.
But a sweep of the top five singles matches proved to be more than enough, as the Cardinals rallied for a 6-3 win.
Things didn't go quite as well for the SMU women, who dropped their third straight with an 8-1 loss to the Saints.
"It was a good win for the guys, especially after the way we performed in doubles," said SMU coach Jeff Halberg, whose men's team snapped a two-match losing streak and improved to 2-3 overall. "We didn't make things easy on ourselves with those two losses at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, but we kept our composure and came back strong in singles."
Tyler Stevenson (Neenah, Wis.) pushed his season-opening singles winning streak to five straight with a 7-6, 6-3 win at No. 1 singles, and Walter Mannino (Chicago, Ill.), Tony Miller (Rochester, Minn.), Adam Solseth (Shakopee, Minn.) and Thomas Vollman (Oak Park, Ill.) followed suit with wins at No. 2-5, respectively. Only Miller's 6-7, ,7-6, 10-8 win at No. 3 went the maximum three sets.
Ashley Meschke (Pequot Lakes, Minn.) picked up the SMU women's lone win, posting a hard-fought 6-3, 4-6, 10-7 triumph at No. 1 singles. The Saints swept the other five matches in straight sets, and cruised to easy wins in all three doubles matches.
"St. Scholastica has a tough women's team they are the defending UMAC champions and they showed us why," said Halberg. "We haven't been able to put it all together yet, but we aren't that far off, either. We're going to have to make a few adjustments to try and get a little more production from our doubles teams, but we're young and we'll continue to improve with each match we play."