Tennis Bounces Back to Finish Well at Conference
The Oberlin tennis teams have had a good run this season. Despite a few disappointing close losses, both teams have kept a pretty positive attitude about the season. In individual play, the scores have been fairly even across the board. On the men’s side, sophomore David Midler finished the season with a 14-7 record as junior Chris Pray ended the year 13-10 and senior Arthur Zeyda finished his final season with a 7-15 mark. Junior Ezra Goldman finished with a record of 8-9 with juniors Colin Burling and Thomas Page finishing 11-10 and 6-8, respectively.
On the women’s side, sophomore sisters Olivia and Jane Hayden finished with scores of 13-5 and 10-7. Sophomore Kelly Sipp ended her second year with a mark of 11-8, while junior Jackie Golden finished her third with a 3-18 record. Senior Bianca Barr finished with an even score of 11-11 as sophomore Elle Anzinger finished the season with a 7-12 record.
Since spring break, both teams have experienced difficulty as they faced formidable opponents. The women picked up only three more wins in the last ten matches while the men were only able to win two of 12 matches. The last opponent the Yeomen and Yeowomen faced before the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament was Kenyon. Neither team fared too well against the Lords, as the men lost without a single win at 0-9 while the women lost 1-8. The only win against the Lords came from Jane Hayden, who lost the first set 1-6 but came back for two tight wins of 7-6 and 10-8.
After the Kenyon defeat, it was off to the conference championships in Granville, Ohio on April 27. The first opponent for the men was Allegheny. Burling and Pray gained the only win in doubles at 8-4 in the one. Pray then opened the singles competition with a close win of 6-1, 7-6 (7-1). Pray was the last one to come out victorious as the match ended as soon as Oberlin lost three more sets, leaving the final score at 2-5.
The men did much better in their second match as they took on Wittenberg. Doubles went by without much trouble as Pray and Burling took the one spot 8-2. Midler and Goldman followed with a victory of 8-4 at the two along with Zeyda and Page with an 8-1 win at the three. Singles went quickly since the men only needed two more wins to end the match. The two and four ended the match with Midler winning straight sets of 6-2 and Goldman winning 6-1, 6-2. Oberlin won the match 5-0.
The men’s final conference match-up was against Wabash on the following day. Much like their first match, the men were put into a do-or-die situation after being swept in doubles. Giving a hard fight at the one, Pray lost a close first set of 5-6, trying to come back in the second only to lose 3-6. Midler was able to keep the match going at the two with a strong 6-1, 6-2 win. Zeyda came in at the three but was unable to grab the win, losing 4-6, 3-6.
Oberlin was able to gain two more wins prior to the deciding match at the four and five spot from Goldman and Burling. A dominating 6-0 win in his first set, Goldman had a tougher time in his second set but still pulled through with a 7-6, 7-3 win. Burling won his match 6-3, 6-1, leaving the final score at 3-5 for Oberlin’s loss and placing the men sixth in the tournament.
The women, who did not begin the tournament until April 28, faced Wittenberg in their first match-up. It was a good start: the women swept doubles beginning with Barr and Anzinger starting at the one, winning 7-2. The two spot was taken by Golden and Sipp, 6-6, due to their opponents retiring from the match. They were followed by the Hayden sisters at the three, who won their match 8-3. Singles went quickly, with Barr and Jane winning the deciding matches, 6-2, 6-2 and 6-3, 6-0 at the one and six. Oberlin swept the Tigers 5-0.
The women faced a harder team in their match against Denison on Saturday. After being swept in doubles, the final score was 0-5.
Their final match against OWU was a much closer fight, with Barr and Anzinger gaining the only win in doubles at 8-3. Singles were a close fight. Barr started off with a strong win at the one, winning straight sets of 6-3. Though Anzinger and Golden lost their matches at the two and three, Olivia won a close match at the four spot, winning 7-5, 6-4 followed by Sipp at the five with a win of 6-2, 6-3.
The final match was another close one, played by Jane Hayden at the six. Though she had a dominating win of 6-0 in her first set, OWU came back in the second to gain a close win of 6-4. Jane fought hard, but was unable to come back, losing 2-6. Oberlin narrowly lost to the Bishops, 4-5, placing the women in fourth place.
Despite the disappointment from the final matches, the men and women still feel good about their season. As Chris Pray said, “Even though we didn’t do as well as we had hoped in the tournament, we all enjoyed ourselves…that has been the most important factor [this season]: team dynamics.”
Barr said the same thing when asked about the women’s team. “The team performed extremely well together on and off the court, I can’t remember a team getting along as well as we did this season.”
Despite a frustrating end to the season, both teams should be strong next year. The only sad part for both is that they’ll each be losing a key player, senior Arthur “The Pressure Cooker” Zeyda for the men and Bianca Barr for the women.