by ERIN O’BOYLE
The Drake men’s tennis team had a busy weekend of travel during the first weekend of February.
With so much travel expected, first-year tennis player Oliver Johansson said that the team was excited going into the weekend and that the struggles of traveling were just something one has to get used to.
The busy schedule began with a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota on Jan. 31 to face the University of Alabama. Drake started off strong early in the match by clenching the doubles point right off the bat with wins at No. 1 doubles, consisting of senior Barny Thorold and first-year star Oliver Johansson. They won their set 6-4. Finley Hall and Reid Jarvis were also victorious at No. 2 doubles with a set score of 7-6 after winning a tiebreaker round 7-3. Despite their momentum in the doubles portion of the match, the Drake men’s tennis team fell to Alabama in all six singles matches.
Thorold had a long and hard fought match at No. 3 singles in which we fell in the first set with a score of 4-6. He came back to clench the second set 7-6, after winning the tiebreaker r 7-4. Ultimately, Thorold fell to his opponent in the tiebreaker set with a score of 3-10.
After their loss against Alabama on Friday, the Bulldogs were on the road again, but this time headed to the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. The doubles competition was lost to Oregon after falling to the Ducks at No. 1 and 3 doubles and unfinished game at No. 2 doubles. Unfinished games seemed to be the norm for the day, as No. 2 singles, No. 4 singles, and No. 6 singles were all left unfinished. However, the games that were completed went to the Oregon Ducks, and therefore left the Bulldogs with a 0-4 loss.
Coming off tough losses on the road, the Bulldogs returned to the Roger Knapp Tennis Center on February 8th to face the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Hoping for a win on their home court, the Bulldogs went into their match after a week of intense practices hoping to secure a win. Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes swept the Bulldogs in doubles portion of the match and captured three wins in the singles competition leaving with a score of 4-0 over the Bulldogs. The other three singles matches were left unfinished.
First-year Johansson was doing well at No. 2 singles with a win in first set with a score of 6-2, and a lead in the second set 5-3. However, the game was left unfinished giving Drake no points for the match. Reid Jarvis at No. 6 singles for the Bulldogs was also ahead in his match when the call to leave the game unfinished was decided. Jarvis won his first set 6-4, and was leading in his second set 3-2. Despite these leads, the Bulldogs came up short and added another loss to their record.
“Of course it was disappointing that none of the matches ended the way we wanted, especially since we all know what we are capable of,” said first-year Oliver Johansson. “I believe we need to be able to play our matches the way we practice. We just need to trust in ourselves a little more and just go after it in all of the matches we play.”
On Feb. 14th, the Bulldogs will host Wichita State at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center at 6 p.m.. We can only hope that Drake leaves all the love on the court.