|SMU women come up short in back-to-back losses;
Cardinal men can't end funk in falling to GAC, SJU
And the Cardinals were flying high.
In the span of those eight days, however, the high-flying Cardinals have been grounded, as Gustavus handed SMU a 9-0 setback, St. Catherine survived three, three-set singles matches en route to a 5-4 victory, and Sunday, Saint Benedict dealt Saint Mary's its third straight loss, cruising to a 7-2 triumph.
"We had so many close matches again but we still haven't been able to break through," said SMU coach Jeff Halberg of the Saint Benedict match. "We fell behind 4-0 and tried to mount a comeback, but we just couldn't quite get over the hump."
Ann Leeder (Greenfield, Wis.) and Val Meschke (Pine River, Minn.) picked up SMU's two victories vs. the Blazers, as Leeder posted a three-set, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 win at No. 2, while Meschke pushed her season record to 8-1 with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 3. Aubrey Hirsch (Topeka, Kan.) and Abby Cooper (La Crosse, Wis.) both went to a second-set tiebreaker, but both came up empty in falling in straight sets.
"It was a much better match than the final score indicated," said Halberg. "Everyone is continuing to battle, and, hopefully, we can get some break to go our way pretty soon."
TO SAY THE SMU MEN'S TENNIS TEAM HAS BEEN IN a rut would be an understatement.
In fact, over the past five matches, the Cardinals have not been able to shift out of first gear.
Saint John's swept all six singles matches getting straight-set wins in five of the six en route to an 8-1 victory over SMU Sunday, handing the Cardinals their fifth straight loss.
"St. John's is a very good team and they played us tough," said Halberg. "I thought the guys battled pretty well, they just ran into a very good team."
Tom Vollman (Oak Park, Ill.) and Stephen Grundhoefer (St. Paul, Minn.) teamed up to post an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles to account for SMU's lone win, while Vollman was also a tough-luck loser at No. 2 singles, falling to SJU's Ted Lauer in three sets, 6-7, 6-4, 10-5.
"I really thought this was a pretty tight match," said Halberg, noting that the Cardinals won at least two games in all 13 singles sets. "We're just going through a tough stretch right now, and hopefully the guys can stick together and battle through it."