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No. 41 Bulldogs cruise past North Dakota, Western Illinois

The No. 41 Drake men’s tennis team swept North Dakota and Western Illinois 7-0 on Saturday at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center, extending the Bulldogs’ winning streak to nine.

Drake claimed the doubles point over North Dakota in quick fashion. That early momentum translated into a 7-0 victory, without a single tiebreak.

The No. 3 duo of senior Ryan Drake and sophomore Grant Tesmer claimed the first victory of the day with an 8-6 decision over North Dakota’s David Bergstrom and Jared Vigen. Drake’s No. 2 pairing of junior Robin Goodman and sophomore Ben Mullis finished next with an 8-2 win against Grant Bakke and Ryan McGuigan.

Sophomore Alen Salibasic and freshman Ben Lott clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 victory over Connor Oberle and Josh Oothoudt.

Singles competition followed suit as the Bulldogs won easily across the board.

No. 1 Goodman opened singles play with a statement, thanks to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Oothoudt. Salibasic followed Goodman’s lead at the No. 2 position, winning a swift 6-1, 6-2 match against North Dakota’s McGuigan.

Drake finished the last four singles matches with ease.

No. 3 Mullis defeated Oberle, 6-3, 6-1. At No. 4, Lott dispatched Joe Lee, 6-2, 6-1. Tesmer registered a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Will Biernat at the No. 5 spot. The closest match came at No. 6, where Drake beat Bakke, 6-3, 6-3.

Hours later, the Bulldogs routed Western Illinois, 7-0.

Story by Taylor Soule

Drake controlled the match early on, winning the doubles point convincingly. The No. 2 team of Goodman and Mullis finished first with a victory over Brandon Meeker and Ben Yue, 8-2.

At No. 1, Salibasic and Lott defeated Mitch Granger and Bradley Holt, 8-2. The pairing of Drake and Tesmer sealed the doubles point with an 8-4 win against the Leathernecks’ Chris Bunch and Max Cedarkall.

The Bulldogs cruised through the second batch of singles matches on Saturday. No. 5 Tesmer blanked Meeker 6-0, 6-0 to start play. No. 2 Goodman finished next with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Yue.

Drake completed the 7-0 sweep with wins from Salibasic, Lott, Mullis and Drake.

No. 1 Salibasic had little trouble against Holt en route to a 6-4, 6-0 victory. Lott claimed a 6-2, 6-1 decision against Granger at No. 3. Mullis dropped just two games to defeat Cedarkall, 6-0, 6-2. Drake earned Saturday’s last victory with a 6-1, 6-1 ledger over Bunch at No. 6.

The Bulldogs return to action against Western Michigan Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. in Iowa City.

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