Men's tennis triumphs with decisive win

by Becka Rich

After their 6-1 win against Ohio Wesleyan University, the men's tennis players decided it might be fun to dump a bucket of ice on Ohio Wesleyan alum Coach Chris Barker's head.

According to first-year Brendan Mislin, they got Barker to go down on one knee by convincing him that it was a photo shoot for the team's web page. The team stood in formation to hide the ice bucket and Swendsen held a video camera. Unfortunately, their attempt was thwarted.

"We had him and a few guys went to get the bucket when he stood up and decided to wait for another player to get in the picture," said sophomore Jonathan Stinson. "Then he got suspicious and found the bucket and emptied it."

The win qualifies the team for the NCAC tournament this weekend. Only the top eight teams in the conference go to the tournament.

"It was great!," junior Peter Swendsen said. "It was a very important match for us to win, and everyone came through and played well."

The team dominated the game, winning all three doubles games to secure the doubles point and then proceeded to win five of six singles matches. Swendsen was the only one to lose the singles point. First-year Jed Greenberg, junior Sam Steckley, and first-year Michael Shelton all had sets in which their opponents scored no points.

"Jed and I played through to a tough 8-3 victory-our first win since playing together, though we've had really close ones," Mislin said. "This definitely marks the first win on a long, long list on which we'll write all of our wins in doubles together for the next three years." Greenberg and Mislin won their doubles match 8-3.

A few other players were not as happy with their matches. "Saturday's match was a crucial one to win," said first-year Benjamin Fox. "We didn't play the best tennis of the season, I thought, but it was enough to beat OWU." Fox won an exhibition singles match with 7-5, 6-0 sets.

Players thought that the season had been a good one, despite the 3-16 overall record and 1-7 conference record. Oberlin is 8th of 9 in the conference.

"The season has been a lot of fun," Mislin said. "Some ups, some downs, but the guys on the team are so incredibly nice and have a real love for the game as a team sport, not an individual one like many other schools and that makes it worth every second we spend away from our work. It's been great and I look forward to next year's team."

Barker pointed out that things other than skills had contributed to the season's record. "The team and I felt that our record does not accurately show how good this team is-we played some incredibly tough opponents and had key people missing big matches due to academic reasons-we felt like it was almost a patchwork season," Barker said.

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Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 23, May 1, 1998

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