The Knox men’s tennis team played its first two meets this past weekend in Elsah, Ill. versus Greenville College and Principia College. The team lost 1-8 in the Greenville match and was defeated by Principia by a score of 2-7.
“The guys played hard in both meets. The score definitely does not reflect the effort and competitiveness that the guys gave,” said head coach Amanda Barkema. “Our numbers one and two doubles teams played hard and stayed with the other team, however, they didn’t get over the hump.”
Versus Greenville, the number one doubles team of junior Jared Katchen and senior Nick Craig lost 6-8 and the number two doubles team consisting of senior Jim Michaux and freshman Sam Frank was defeated 7-9.
In singles play, senior Jim Michaux lost in the super tiebreaker for the third set, though senior Nick Craig was able to come out on top.
Against Principia, the number one doubles team was defeated 4-8 as was the number three doubles, but the number two team pulled out a win.
In singles against Principia, Katchen played an outstanding match but just missed the win by a few points. Craig pulled out his second singles win for the season with a 6-4 second set comeback after a 3-6 loss in the first set, and then won the third in a super tiebreaker 10-3. The remaining Knox singles players were also served losses.
This was the first competition for the team so there is still room for improvement.
“For the first meet of the season, I was expecting great doubles play and tons of effort,” Barkema said. “These guys did that and beyond, we were battling at the net, we were chasing balls down and making everything exciting for the spectators.”
The team will compete again this Friday and Saturday versus Ripon College and St. Norbert in Wisconsin.
“I expect the same effort,” Barkema said, “but now that we have two matches under our belt, I am hoping for a little bit more aggressiveness to turn the scores to reflect our way.”