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ISSUE 118 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 4/8/2005

Cobbers upend Men's Tennis

By Ken Foote
Executive Editor

Friday, April 8, 2005

Anxious to shake away the rust of a 19-day layoff and start the month on a high note, the St. Olaf men’s tennis team took to the court against Concordia April 1. Unfortunately, the Oles were the butt of this April Fools’ joke, succumbing to the suddenly streaking Cobbers 7-2 in the season‘s last clash at the Owatonna Indoor Tennis and Fitness Club.

Concordia showcased their considerable depth in taking the top five singles matches and top two doubles matches. No Ole player won a set in the aforementioned seven contests, with only two tallying as many as four games in any one set.

Chase Donaldson ’07 rallied from one set down to prevent a clean sweep and pick up the win in the number six singles tussle. First years Drew Erie and David Gruner teamed up for the Ole’s only doubles at the number three doubles spot.

The loss leaves the Oles at 2-4 in the MIAC, good enough for fifth in the conference. Gustavus and St. Thomas currently rest at 4-0 and Carleton is 3-0 against MIAC foes.

Concordia opened the season with four consecutive losses, including an absolute shellacking at the hands of Gustavus. However, the Cobbers soon reeled off seven straight victories, including one over Division II South Dakota State, tying a school record for consecutive wins in a men‘s tennis season.

With Friday’s victory over St. Olaf, the Cobbers solidfied their fourth place standing in the MIAC.

Despite the recent setback, the Oles have a chance to draw within a game of .500 in the MIAC when they travel to St. Paul, Minn. to take on Bethel Saturday. The Royals have just one win in conference play and managed only one win in 36 individual matches against all MIAC opponents other than Macalester.

Bethel could be just the jumpstart St. Olaf needs to ignite a second-half run and achieve top form heading into the MIAC Tournament, set for April 29-30.

To truly signal the end of the first part of the season, the action finally moves outdoors for good. Without the benefit of a spring break trip this season, the team has no in-game experience outdoors, but should make a smooth transition as they attempt to nab their first win in April and gear up for the stretch run.

The Oles look to flush the Royals Saturday starting at 1 p.m.

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