Men’s tennis tops Colorado College, Willamette

Sara Levering, Staff Writer

The Wildcats hosted a non-conference match against Colorado College and nearly edged them to send them home in defeat, capturing the win 5-4.

They returned to their regular lineups after a couple of weekends shaking things up. Tyler Linscott, ‘17, and Ben McNair, ‘18, made a statement at one doubles winning 8-3. Jose Luis Rojas, ‘20, and John Lutaaya, ‘20, were victorious 8-6. Nathan Saragoza, ‘20, and Charlie Farrenkopf, ‘17 were defeated 8-1.

Linscott at one singles won in straight sets 6-1, 7-6 (6-4). Rojas won at second singles 6-0, 6-2. Mangan defeated his opponent at six singles 6-3, 6-2.

McNair went down in three tight sets 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. Saragoza also went three sets, but drew the short stick 0-6, 7-5, 6-1. Lutaaya at five singles went down in three sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

The Wildcats were hopeful to win a conference match visiting Willamette on Sunday after losing three straight in previous weekends.

The Wildcats were able to keep their streak alive against Willamette on a sunny Sunday afternoon, beating the visiting Bearcats 8-1.

Linscott and McNair won 8-3 as well as Rojas and Lutaaya. Saragoza and Farrenkopf at two doubles were successful winning 8-4.

Linscott won in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. Rojas at two singles also won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Saragoza at three singles won 6-1, 7-5. Mangan at five singles won decisively 6-3, 6-3. Farrenkopf won definitively 6-2, 6-0. The lone Willamette win came from number four singles Lutaaya going down 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.

On the weekend, “We didn’t play our best tennis of the season in either match, but scrapped and competed well enough to win both,” said assistant coach Brent Kingzett.

“It’s an important lesson, that we can be successful when not playing how we want to so long as we compete with everything and have trust in our training,” he said.

On the results this weekend, “Yes, anytime you can pick up two wins in a weekend you have to be pleased with the performance,” said Mangan.

“We’re super excited to head to Texas and see what some of the other top teams in our region look like,” said Mangan.

On heading to Texas, “Our matches over spring break are against some of the best teams in the country. Our expectations are the same as with all matches: compete as hard as we can, play our brand of tennis and focus on what we cannot control. If we can check all three boxes, we will happily live with the results” said Kingzett.

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, “The race for the conference tournament is not top of mind. We are focused on the process of improving and continuing through the season one match at a time. Staying present will give us the best chance to achieve end of season goals,” said Kingzett.

“We had a great, intense week of practice and were able to carry that over into our matches. Our energy was the best it’s been all year and we have fed off it all weekend,” said Mangan.

“Our goal is to make the playoffs and compete with the top of our conference in the postseason. We want to end this season as a top four team in the NWC,” he said.

“I think we are all happy with the results this weekend! It’s a reflection of all of our hard work and it makes us feel good for it to be validated by our results,” said McNair.

“What felt different was our mentality, in previous years, we would be content in our doubles to try and play passively or in singles to get outside of our game styles. Now we are playing more aggressive doubles and our singles players are looking better than ever,” said McNair.

“We’ll be playing some really good teams in Texas, so we need to concentrate on what we do best and what we can control. If we can do that, along with everything else we’ve learned, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t come out of spring break with some wins,” said McNair.

The men’s tennis team will face four teams in Texas on March 25, 26 and 28. The Wildcats will face Southwestern, Texas-Tyler, Trinity and Mary-Hardin Baylor.