The Oglethorpe men's tennis team faced a tough matchup Sunday afternoon at the Downing Howell Courts, as they took on a regionally-ranked Texas-Dallas team on a 40-degree afternoon in Atlanta and lost 6-3. The result dropped the Stormy Petrels to 3-7 on the season.
The match was competitive going into the singles competition, as the Petrels took one of the three doubles matches. Junior Rhys Richardson made his return to the team and competed with sophomore Richard Johnson as the No. 1 tandem. The two found themselves locked in a tough battle with the Comets' No. 1 tandem, and wound up winning in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-5). Texas-Dallas took the other two doubles matches, defeating sophomore Michael Santaloci and freshman Zoe Raymond 8-3 at No. 2, then taking out the No. 3 tandem of junior Matthew Magee and sophomore Jacob Bertram, 8-3.
In singles, though, the Comets quickly clinched the match with three consecutive victories, building a 5-1 advantage. Richardson fell 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 while Bertram dropped the No. 6 match 6-3, 6-1. Texas-Dallas clinched the dual match with a victory at No. 2, winning 6-4, 6-1.
The match continued, though, with Santaloci winning Oglethorpe's first singles match of the afternoon, 6-2, 7-5. Raymond fought through an injury at No. 3, but eventually fell in a third-set super-tiebreaker 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8), making the score 6-2. The Petrels picked up their final point in the day's final match, as junior Matthew Magee picked up a victory at No. 5. He defeated his opponent in a third-set super-tiebreaker, 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-5).
"We are improving as individuals have begun to play more consistently," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "Doubles has still been a work in progress, and some of our guys are a little nicked up after all the matches we played in Florida, but we are battling through it and will look to be ready for conference play."
The Petrels will get conference play started a week from Sunday, when they travel to northwest Georgia to take on Berry at 9 a.m. that morning. Before that, they'll take on No. 15 Amherst on Saturday in a match that will take place at Emory's Woodruff P.E. Center at 9 a.m.