The Oglethorpe men's tennis team was faced with a tough matchup Sunday morning at the Downing Howell Courts, going up against Division I opponent Citadel. The Stormy Petrels fought hard against the visiting Bulldogs, taking one of the three doubles matches, but fell 8-1 in the end. The result dropped the Petrels to 1-3 on the season and wrapped up a challenging weekend against a regionally-ranked Rose-Hulman side and the Division I Citadel.
In doubles, sophomores Richard Johnson and Michael Allen found themselves engaged in a tight match with the top Citadel duo, but eventually fell 8-6. Freshman Zoe Raymond and sophomore Michael Santaloci also played very well in the No. 2 slot, defeating the Bulldogs' No. 2 pair 8-2. Freshman Dustin Bowie and sophomore Jacob Bertram fell 8-2 at No. 3 doubles, allowing Citadel to move into the singles competition up 2-1.
The Bulldogs controlled the singles matches, though. They won all six matches in straight sets and didn't lose more than three games in any of those sets. Johnson fell 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1, while Bowie dropped his No. 2 match 6-2, 6-3. Raymond lost 6-2, 6-0 at No. 3, and Santaloci fell 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 4 match. Junior Matthew Magee dropped the No. 5 match 6-0, 6-1 and Bertram fell 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6.
"I thought this was an interesting challenge for us," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "Obviously, playing a Division I team presents a unique challenge, but I thought we played very well for the most part. Raymond and Santaloci played very well in winning at No. 2 and Johnson and Allen hung tough in a tight loss at No. 1. We played well in several of the singles matches, too, but we were just outmanned by our tougher opponent. Overall, I think this was a positive experience for us and helps to get us ready for the competition we'll face at our spring break trip."
The Petrels will now hit the road, heading up Lookout Mountain on Wednesday for a showdown with Covenant at 3:30 p.m. After that, they'll head to central Florida for five matches in three days over spring break.