Men's tennis vents frustration on Earlham

by Ben Gleason

After a strong week of tennis for the Oberlin men's team that included two victories over Earlham College, the Yeomen are set to face Denison University today in the NCAC tournament.

On Wednesday, in a match with Earlham to decide what unlucky team would face perennial powerhouse Denison, the Oberlin netsters proved their worth in a 4-0 victory. First singles sophomore Jed Greenberg beat Justin Carrer 6-1, 7-5, while second singles senior Sam Steckley took the first set 6-2 and was leading 2-0 in the second before Cameron Spalding was forced to cede the match. Senior Eric Shin won at third singles, though Sanjay Maraboyina stole a set from him, 6-2, 1-6, 7-5. Rounding out the triumphant lineup was sophomore Mike Shelton, who defeated Matt Haynes 6-0, 7-5.

Last Saturday, the Yeomen challenged Ohio Wesleyan on their home turf, and though they fought valiantly, Oberlin could not come away with the victory, losing 5-2. The lone two points for the Yeomen came from Steckley's 6-4, 6-4 win over Nanman Gilani and from first-year Richard Raz's 6-4, 6-1 drubbing of Evuilo Kotzer. "I've been practicing for a match like this all season.," Raz said. "Everything came together for me and I was fortunate to come up with a solid victory." At second doubles, junior Jon Stinson and sophomore Ben Fox teamed up to beat Josh Shade and Akshay Madhavan 8-4.

In Oberlin's second match of the doubleheader at OWU, the Yeomen took on Earlham, administering a thrashing that would foretell Wednesday's sound drubbing. "We're a better team than Earlham and we have more talent and the guys know that," said coach Adam Shoemaker. "We had to overcome our tendency not to be too confident." In the 7-0 victory over the hapless Quakers, Oberlin took all six singles matches and won the first and third doubles matches. Greenberg won 6-2, 6-3, Steckley was victorious at 6-3, 6-2 and junior Eric Shin had a more difficult time, walking away with a 7-6, 7-6 win. At fourth singles, Stinson lost the first set but rallied to win the next two, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and senior Mike O'Connell won with ease 6-1, 6-1. Completing the singles sweep was Shelton with a 7-6, 6-1 defeat of Casey Kroh. Greenberg and Steckley cleaned up at first doubles, winning 8-1, while Fox and Raz combined efforts for an 8-6 victory.

On Tuesday, the netsters suffered a completely different fate. Challenging a skilled Wooster team, once again on their home turf, the Yeomen were blanked 7-0. Fourth singles player O'Connell was the closest Yeoman to approach the solid Wooster team, though he fell 2-6, 4-6 to Dave Carney. At first singles, Greenberg was defeated 0-6, 1-6, while Steckley came close in the first set then disappeared in the second set.

On the doubles side, Greenberg and Steckley almost managed to overtake the dynamic duo of Matt Riva and Andy Sharpe, but were turned away 6-8.

Today the Yeomen face Denison University, a perennial top-ten tennis team in Division III. Whether they win or lose remains to be seen, but coach Shoemaker certainly thinks his team is able of pulling of an upset. "We're showing signs of break-through," he said. "Our players are stepping up to the challenge. They don't want to end the season on a down-note."

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Copyright © 1999, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 22, April 30, 1999

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