By DAN MARCUS
The men’s tennis team began their season with a convincing 7-2 win over John Carroll last Sunday.
Allegheny swept doubles competition to take a 3-0 lead before the singles competition, where they won 4-2.
Sophomore captain Patrick Cole won his singles match and combined with freshman Kevin Kacer to win the doubles match, 8-2.
Cole emphasized the importance of winning doubles.
“Sweeping doubles and taking a 3-0 lead gave us a huge momentum boost,” Cole said.
The women’s team also played against John Carroll. Ultimately, in a five and a half hour match, the team fell 5-4.
Despite going down 1-2 in doubles play, the Gators were not discouraged as seniors Elyse Schmitt and Janna Dickerson won their singles matches.
In addition, Carolyn Shetter, ’13, won her singles match, and the doubles pairing of sophomores Laura Steele and Kathleen McBride provided the rest of the Gators’ scoring.
Coach Luteran attributed the difference results of the matches to the results in doubles competition. After doubles, the men had the game in hand with a 3-0 lead, while the women’s team had to climb out of a 1-2 hole.
“We played a good match overall last weekend, but it will be important for us to start off stronger in the doubles matches so we have more momentum going into singles,” Dickerson said. “We always like going into singles play with a 3-0 lead because it takes the pressure off and allows us to play with confidence.”
Despite the tough loss for the women, Luteran was still able to see positives from the match.
“This is a wake-up call for us, and I have been happy how the team has responded,” Luteran said. “That response has been the team coming back determined to get better by hitting with coaches and playing matches amongst themselves.”
On the men’s side, Coach Luteran said he hopes to see his team improve on their consistency.
Conference play begins for the men this weekend as they travel to Ohio Wesleyan. The women’s team also plays Ohio Wesleyan but because of the division set up of the North Coast Athletic Conference, the match does not go directly to their conference record but does effect seeding for the NCAC Conference Tournament.
The men’s team had a common opponent with Ohio Wesleyan in John Carroll. Both Ohio Wesleyan and Allegheny were victorious by a 7-2 score.
While the women’s teams have no common opponents they have faced each other individually in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Tournament in the fall.
Last year, the women’s team was victorious 8-1 when they faced Ohio Wesleyan.
Both teams will look to play strong this weekend and gain momentum for the heart of conference play.