Men’s Tennis Falls to Ursinus
By Matt Hutcheon, Staff Writer
The Gettysburg College men’s tennis team had their first conference match of the season this past Saturday. The team faced off against the Ursinus Grizzly Bears at Gettysburg but ultimately lost the contest 6-3.
In the first doubles match, senior captain Christian Deschapelles and junior Nick D’Amore competed against sophomore Max Oberholtzer and junior Paul Vecchio. Both of Ursinus’ first doubles players were dominant on Saturday, having little trouble in the doubles and singles competitions. The Bullets lost the match 0-8.
The first of the Bullets’ three points in the contest came from junior Kevin Maier and first-year Tommy Gilio in the second doubles match. The tandem was able to defeat Ursinus’ sophomore Connor DeFaber-Schumacher and first-year Mason Goff. The score of the match was 8-4.
In the third doubles match, the Bullets played sophomore Jacob Meehan and junior Andrew Corwin. They faced off against Ursinus junior Jake Lachowicz and first-year Matt Fontanese. Both teams played with tenacity and the match was close throughout, but Ursinus just edged out the Bullets.
Deschapelles had the difficult task of playing against sophomore Max Oberholtzer in the first singles match of the day. As a first-year, Oberholtzer was selected to the All-Centennial First Team for singles last season.
Deschapelles was unable to break Oberholtzer’s serve on Saturday, which made it difficult for the senior captain to compete. Deschapelles ultimately lost the match (1-6, 2-6).
In the second singles match D’Amore faced off against first-year Mason Goff. The match began in the favor of Ursinus as Goff pulled out to an early 4-1 lead. However, a lingering foot injury, which Goff was able to play through in a doubles match earlier in the competition, forced him to retire from the match before the sixth game could start.
Maier also faced a staunch opponent in the match on Saturday, as junior Paul Vecchio was selected to the All-Centennial Second Team for his play at doubles last season. Maier had flashes of brilliance at the third singles position, but he was unable to get a groove in the match and ended up losing 0-6, 2-6.
Although Gilio entered his fourth singles match with momentum from a doubles victory with Maier earlier in the contest, he was unable to string enough points to defeat sophomore Connor DeFaber-Schumacher. Gilio lost the match in two sets (1-6, 3-6).
First-year Henry Pletcher’s match against Ursinus’ first-year Matt Fontanese was a display of the youths of the two programs. Pletcher played in the fifth position for the Bullets. However, Pletcher could not sustain enough rallies or supply enough winners to beat Fontanese (2-6, 4-6).
In the sixth singles match Corwin faced off against junior Jake Lachowicz. Corwin was able to win the match in two sets, taking the last one by winning a tiebreaker 7-5. The score of the match was 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).
Although the outcome was not what the Bullets had intended, D’Amore was happy with how the team competed.
“From a team standpoint we played really well together. I was really happy to see how we rallied, and supported each other even when the match was not going our way,” said D’Amore. “Ursinus is a tough team with a lot of talent every year, and I think that we played well against them. If a few things went our way, the match could have been very different.”
The Bullets will be facing nationally ranked Johns Hopkins in their next match. While it will be a difficult opponent, the team is looking forward to actually being able to play a match. There have been a number of postponed and cancelled matches.
“They are one of the best teams in the country,” said D’Amore. “We know this, but all we can do it go out there and play. If we play with confidence and ignore the nerves of the contest and play loose, then I think we have a great chance in the match.”
The Bullets will play on Friday, April 6 at 18th-ranked Johns Hopkins. Weather permitting, they will then take on Swarthmore at home on Saturday, April 7.