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ISSUE 120 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 4/27/2007

Men wrap up season

By Barrett Kennedy
Sports Editor

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Ole men'’s tennis team closed out their season on a windy Tuesday afternoon with a lopsided 8-1 loss to a formidable Carleton team at St. Olaf’'s Carlson Courts. The Oles have had a tough run down the last stretch of their season, losing three of their final four matches.

"The last week or so has been a disappointment, as we didn'’t make the conference tournament,”" David Narvaez ’'09 said.

The Oles had realistic hopes of playing in the MIAC playoff tournament this year, but saw these hopes squashed by the second place Knights. Only Ian Pray ’'09 was able to solve his opponent, winning the first singles match in three hard-fought sets. The rest of the singles matches were swept in straight sets by Carleton.

The men understood that their record entering play Tuesday meant they would need a victory over Carleton in order to guarantee them a playoff spot.

Instead, Tuesday’'s loss dropped their conference record to 4-5, into a tie for sixth place with St. Thomas. However, the Tommies claimed the final MIAC tournament seed because they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Oles, thanks to their victory over St. Olaf back on April 17.

The Oles'’ narrow playoff miss came down to more than just the last match of the season though.

“"Unfortunately, we lost three close matches where we played well, but fell just short of victory,”" said head coach Scott Nesbit.

Some of the team'’s disappointment stems from the fact that last Saturday brought opposite results. The men traveled to St. Mary’'s and assertively disposed of the Cardinals 8-1, keeping their playoff hopes alive at that point. The Oles swept all six singles matches, with Narvaez and Chase Donaldson '’07 winning in close tiebreakers.

Despite the frustration the team is feeling this week, Nesbit was quick to note the positives.

"We had a good year,"” Nesbit said. "“We beat St. John'’s, whom we haven’t defeated for about 10 years and we return a large percentage of our players next year."”

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