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ISSUE 121 VOL 17 PUBLISHED 4/18/2008

Bethel bests men's tennis in tight match

By Jamie Klein
Contributing Writer

Friday, April 18, 2008

Last week, the St. Olaf men's tennis team played Hamline University in St. Paul. The result was a convincing sweep of all nine matches.

Ian Pray '09 played to a 6-3, 6-2 win at first singles, and also brought home a victory along with Nick Crnkovich '09 in the first doubles spot (8-2).

Drew Erie '08 dominated second singles with a 6-0, 6-0 match, and David Narvaez '09 had a similarly strong match with a 6-1, 6-1 victory. Narvaez teamed up with Erie for a 9-7 win at the second doubles spot.

Nick Hubbard-Peters '10, Erik Brekke '08 and Eric Brandenburg '08 finished out the Oles' domination of singles play, while first-year Will Mitchell and Hubbard-Peters had the final win at third doubles, 8-2.

The team faced more of a challenge Saturday when they played Bethel University in Lakeville, Minn., losing a closely contested 5-4 match. The match was moved to Lakeville due to extended winter weather. It was originally scheduled for St. Olaf's Carlson Courts.

"The match could have gone either way. There was a lot of good effort and sportsmanship," head coach Scott Nesbit said.

Pray yielded the first singles match 6-4, 6-2 and Erie lost a tough couple of sets (6-1, 6-1) at second singles.

Narvaez fought back after dropping his first set for a 4-6, 7-6, 10-6 victory in the third singles spot. Mitchell was victorious at fifth singles (6-3, 6-4), and he joined with Hubbard-Peters for an 8-2 win in third doubles.

That good effort noted by Nesbit was evident in Crnkovich's gritty match at sixth singles, where he won his first set 6-3, dropped his second 0-6 and then came back for the win with 10-4.

The men are now 3-3 in the MIAC. The men's tennis season may be winding down, but right now they're still playing at full throttle, with matches Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Wednesday the Oles lost in a close, late match against St. Thomas, falling 5-4.

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