On a cold and blustery day in Birmingham, Alabama, and with the score tied 4-4 between the Oglethorpe men's tennis team and Birmingham-Southern, everything came down to the final match between Oglethorpe sophomore Zoe Raymond and Birmingham-Southern's Charlie Rowe at No. 5 singles. Fittingly, their match went to a third set, where Raymond won to give the Petrels a hard-earned 5-4 win. The win improved the Petrels to 10-5 overall and 2-2 in SAA play.
Oglethorpe lost two of the three doubles matches, with junior Richard Johnson and freshman Walker Benson picking up a win at No. 2 doubles, 8-1. Trailing 2-1, the Petrels lost the first singles match, at #2, to go down 3-1. After that, they reeled off three consecutive singles wins to take a 4-3 lead. Benson won at 6-2, 6-0 at No. 4. Johnson followed that up with a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 3. Junior Michael Santaloci gave the Petrels the lead with his 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 6.
After the Petrels dropped the No. 1 singles match, the score was knotted at 4-4, setting up the decisive final match between Raymond and Rowe. Raymond won the first set 6-3, but Rowe rebounded to win the second set, 6-2. The match would be decided in the third, and Raymond took care of business, 6-2, to give the Petrels the victory.
Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell commented after the match, "This was another tight match with Birmingham-Southern. We lost to them 5-4 last year, and this year it was our turn. This was a great team win and will help us going forward into our last three conference matches!"
The Petrels will now head to Jackson, Mississippi, to take on No. 40 Millsaps on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Eastern. After that, they'll return home for games against LaGrange, Centre and Sewanee.