STORY BY ADAM ROGAN
Drake Men’s Tennis traveled to Madison, Wisconsin for two matches on Feb. 13 and 14. They took down the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Friday and followed it up with an upset against North Carolina State, ranked 29th in the nation at the time.
“We were thrilled. It was a great team effort. It was a great way for us to come back,” head coach Davidson Kozlowski said.
The Bulldogs took the doubles point in quick sets against Wisconsin, putting the team at an early advantage.
Ravi Patel, the reigning MVC Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week, fell in straight sets at the fourth position, tying the match up at 2-2.
“It just didn’t work out for me that day really. I had a good week of practice, but the other guy just stepped up,” Patel said.
This was Patel’s first loss of the season in a singles match and his second loss in his two-year career at Drake in non-tournament matches.
The rest of the Bulldogs picked up the slack, winning the last three matches of the day to seal the victory 5-2.
Saturday’s match started off slow for the Bulldogs, dropping the doubles point.
Bayo Philips fell in the first singles match 6-2, 6-0, the Bulldogs trailing 2-0 early.
Ben Lott followed with a win in straight sets, but Matt Frost lost soon after, leaving the Wolfpack one point away from victory.
Drake needed to win the three final singles matches on the day to complete the upset, and all three of the do-or-die matches went into a third set.
Patel redeemed himself from his loss the day before and took a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 victory. Drake: 2, NC State: 3.
Alen Salibasic was almost able to win in straight sets, but finished off his opponent 6-1 in the final set.
The match was all square as pressure fell on freshman Calum MacGeoch with the match tied at three.
MacGeoch had let his nerves get the best of him and lost his first collegiate match two weeks previous against Dartmouth 6-0, 6-0, but this was not the case on Saturday.
“I played a few matches last weekend as well and that gave me a chance to ease into and getting used to college matches,” MacGeoch said.
MacGeoch dropped his first set 6-7 to 124th ranked Nick Horton, but fought back to even the match with a 6-4 second set win.
The final set was tightly fought, but MacGeoch walked away with the victory, taking set three 6-4.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” MacGeoch said. “I just kept persevering with my shots … and eventually I just started to get the results and the points.”
This was the Bulldogs’ second upset victory of the season and their fifth win against a top-100 team.