The Oglethorpe men's tennis team faced a tough test Saturday against a regionally ranked Rhodes Lynx team in Memphis, Tennessee. Though the Stormy Petrels fought hard, Rhodes prevailed, 7-2, to drop the Petrels to 6-10 overall and 2-2 in SAA play.
Rhodes picked up an 8-1 win over junior Matthew Magee and sophomore Jacob Bertram in the No. 2 doubles match to start things off, but the other two doubles contests came down to the wire. Unfortunately, the Lynx took down both of them, winning each one 8-6. The victories came over junior Rhys Richardson and sophomore Richard Johnson at No. 1, and over sophomore Michael Santaloci and freshman Zoe Raymond at No. 3. The Rhodes wins in those two matches meant that the Petrels were down 3-0 headed into the singles portion of the match.
Oglethorpe got a boost from Johnson at No. 3 singles, when he made quick work of his opponent, 6-2, 6-2, to make the overall score 3-1. However, Rhodes beat freshman Dustin Bowie 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 and Santaloci 6-1, 6-4 at No. 5 to clinch the victory on the day.
Richardson fought hard at No. 1 singles but eventually fell 6-4, 6-4, making it 6-1 on the morning. That left a pair of 3-set matches, both of which went to the third-set 10-point tiebreaker. Raymond fell at No. 3 after taking the first set, falling 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (5). Meanwhile, Magee took the final match of the day after taking the first set and a marathon 10-point tiebreaker, winning 7-6 (6), 1-6, 1-0 (10).
"Dropping those two doubles matches really hurt us," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "We really needed to get one of those in order to have a real chance against a talented Rhodes team. However, we will regroup and go after Hendrix tomorrow."
The Petrels will take on the Warriors Sunday morning from Conway, Arkansas, before returning home for a pair of home SAA contests next weekend.