The Oglethorpe men's tennis team faced a difficult matchup Tuesday afternoon in Atlanta, taking on the No. 1 Emory Eagles across town in the city's Druid Hills neighborhood. The Stormy Petrels fell 9-0 to Emory at the Woodruff P.E. Center, dropping to 11-5 on the season.
The match got started with the doubles competition, where the seventh-rated doubles team in the Atlantic South, Oglethorpe senior C.J. Antonio and sophomore Rhys Richardson, took on the Emory No. 1 doubles team, which featured two of the top 20 singles players in the nation. The Emory pairing proved to be just too much, winning 8-3. In the second doubles match, senior Briton Richardson and freshman Michael Allen fell 8-4. Freshmen Angel Llerena and Richard Johnson found themselves in a hard-fought match against Emory's No. 3 doubles pairing, but the Eagles prevailed 8-5 in the end, building a 3-0 lead headed into the singles portion of the competition.
In singles, sophomore Judd Motz got the start at the top position on the day, but fell 6-0, 6-1. The Eagles followed by clinching the match with a couple of victories at Nos. 5 and 6, as freshmen Michael Santaloci and Richard Johnson fell 6-0, 6-2 in their respective matches. The closest match of the afternoon came at No. 3, where sophomore Rhys Richardson took his second set to a tiebreaker before falling 6-2, 7-6 (1). Llerena fell 6-0, 6-3 at No. 2 while Briton Richardson dropped his No. 4 match to the No. 35 player in the country, 6-2, 6-1.
"Today was a tough matchup for us," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "We battled, but were outmanned by a superior team. They clearly deserve their ranking as the No. 1 team in the country. We'll look to come back in SAA play this weekend."
The Petrels return to the Downing Howell Courts Saturday and Sunday for the final weekend of their SAA season. They'll take on No. 28 Sewanee at 10 a.m. Saturday before going against Centre at noon Sunday.