On a cold, snowy Wednesday afternoon, the Oswego State men’s tennis defeated the Keuka College Storm inside the Romney Fieldhouse, 8-1.
This showed another example of how valuable the Romney Fieldhouse has been to the Lakers, as the match was previously scheduled to be played at Keuka, but due to weather, it was rescheduled at Oswego because of the indoor facility the Lakers have access to.
Oswego State came into the match off of a 6-3 win against Lancaster Bible College at Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. on April 12.
The victory brought the Lakers record back to .500 at 4-4, which meant that a win over the Storm would put Oswego State over .500 for the first time this season.
The match started with the doubles pairs hitting the courts and Oswego State looked very impressive pulling 2 of 3 matches.
In first doubles, senior Ben Weiss and junior Mike Owens lost in the pro set against Keuka’s Justin Fries and David Caramella, 8-4.
In second doubles, junior Tim Van Hine and freshman Spencer Thorn defeated Keuka’s Julian Diaz and Zach Briggs, 8-3.
Van Hine and Thorn have been paired together in every match this season, coming together for a 5-4 record as a team. Assistant coach Geoffrey Sawyer mentioned how well the two have worked together all season long.
“They’re definitely our smartest doubles team. They may not be the most talented but if their opponents leave any open shots, they’re going to take advantage of it,” Sawyer said
In the third and final doubles match, seniors Sam Carges and Max McCune defeated Keuka’s Rich Matrassi and Zack Ward, 8-0.
It was a very dominating performance by the pair, as the match lasted just over 20 minutes.
This put the team in great position going into singles, having the 2-1 lead. Head coach Robert Friske understood how important doubles are.
“In our last home match against St. John Fisher, dropping all three of the doubles matches really put us in a hole, that put us in great position winning 2 of 3,” Friske said
It was a bit of a shakeup in the singles lineup as Coach Friske moved sophomore Justin D’Antonio up from his sixth singles spot to the fourth singles spot. He also moved freshman John Stanford and junior Scott Mohr from exhibition to the 5th and 6th singles spots, respectively.
D’Antonio was the first to hit the court in singles play.
He had a 4-0 record coming into the match in sixth singles competition, but he was looking forward to stepping up into a higher role on the team.
“I’m pumped for this,” D’Antonio said.
D’Antonio showed how excited he was, playing extremely well and winning (6-4, 6-0) against Ward.
Stanford and Mohr also played well in their new positions with Stanford winning (6-0, 6-0) against Matrassi and Mohr winning (7-5, 6-4) against the Storm’s Garrett Calton.
Stanford stated how happy he was with the way he played today.
“It was the first time in a long time that I wasn’t playing against myself; it felt good,” Stanford said.
Friske stated how the guys who are playing in the lower slots have been playing very well in the battles against each other for the starting spots.
“Scott has been challenging John, and John has been challenging Justin,” Friske said. “They’re very competitive and it makes them all better.”
Stanford also commented how important practice is getting to play against one another.
“It’s good to have variety on playing different guys in practice because you don’t know what you’re going to be going up against come match day,” Stanford said.
Oswego State swept the rest of the singles matches with Van Hine winning in third singles (6-0, 6-0) over Caramella
In second singles, Owens eventually defeated Diaz (6-1,6-1) but not without having to really earn it in a long, hard-fought last game.
Finally, in first singles because the team match was already decided, they just played a pro set with Weiss winning 8-6 over Fries, giving Oswego State the overall team victory.
Weiss stated how happy he was pulling out the singles match after losing in doubles match.
“I’m just glad to turn it around after doubles, he was someone I lost to before so it was good to win,” Weiss said.
With the win, the Lakers moved their record to 5-4. Friske shared his excitement about what kind of season this team is having, and what it will mean to the program.
“We’re on pace for the best win record season in quite a while and the best winning percentage in possibly 20 years,” Friske said.
Oswego State will have the weekend off for the Easter holiday and return to action in Pennsylvania on April 21 at Keystone College.