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ISSUE 119 VOL 12 PUBLISHED 3/3/2006

Tennis suffers early season losses

By Matt Tiano
Sports Editor

Friday, March 3, 2006

Although the final scores indicate three combined sweeps in the opposition’s favor, the St. Olaf men’'s and women’'s tennis teams have remained competitve in every match this season. The men hold a 1-2 record, while the women are even at .500 with a record of 2-2.

The squads won their opening matches against Macalester, 6-3 in both contests on Feb. 11.

A deep lineup secured the victory for the Ole men, propelled by victories from no. 3 through no. 6 singles, and no. 2 and 3 doubles.

“"We are a very deep team,”" David Narvaez ‘'09 said. “"We have many young players playing both singles and doubles, so we’ll have to use our depth to our advantage in order to contend."”

For the Ole women, a sweep in doubles play was the difference.

In their next match on Feb. 17, the Ole women faced a tough Carleton squad, one that plans to contend in a tough MIAC. St. Olaf was defeated 8-1.

The men then faced national power Gustavus on Feb. 24. Last year, the Gustie men finished third in the nation.

The Oles were swept, but competed well. Several matches were decided by tiebreakers, and with a few breaks here and there, it is likely the final score would have not appeared as lopsided.

“"Going into our match with Gustavus, we weren'’t planning on walking away with a victory by any means,”" Narvaez said. "“However, we competed very well in some matches, which will only help us down the road when we face more excellent competition."”

The same weekend, the Ole women traveled to St. Catherine'’s, and came home with a 6-3 victory.

On Saturday, both teams traveled to the Rochester Athletic Center where they took on two solid Luther squads. Both were defeated handidly, the men 6-1 while the women were swept.

The lone win of the evening came at no. 3 singles in the men'’s match. Narvaez faced longtime friend and former teammate Brad Nelson. Both are Northfield High School graduates.

Narvaez controlled the match from the onset and finished off Nelson by a score of 6-1 6-2.

However, the victory went beyond the final score, according to Narvaez.

"“Going into the match, I was excited to play Brad,"” Narvaez said. “"However, during play it was tough to accept that one of us was going to be unhappy. It was definitely a new experience against Brad on the opposite side of the net in a match that mattered.”"

The teams will travel to Owatonna to face UW-Eau Claire this weekend, in matches that are considered home contests. The women will begin the doubleheader with a matinee, starting at 4 p.m. The men will play at 6:30 in the nightcap.

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