The Oglethorpe men's tennis team recovered from dropping two out of their three doubles matches and swept all six singles ties to knock off Birmingham-Southern 7-2 in their SAA opener Saturday at the Howell Courts. With the win, the Stormy Petrels improved to 6-4 on the season overall and 1-0 in conference play.
Down 2-1 headed into singles, things started to turn around for the Petrels. Sophomore Calvin Schneider immediately came back with a 6-0, 6-2 win on the six line to tie the dual match. Fellow sophomore Walker Benson was the next to win, defeating his opponent 6-4, 6-3 to give the Petrels the lead from the top line. Senior Michael Santaloci won his first set on the four line, but found himself down 5-4 in the second set. He rallied for a 6-1, 7-5 win, though, and brought his team to within a single match of clinching victory, 4-2. Senior Richard Johnson did the honors from the two line, defeating his opponent 6-1, 6-3 to give the Petrels their fifth point. Junior Zoe Raymond and senior Matthew Magee added straight-set victories for the final margin.
In doubles, the No. 2 tandem of Santaloci and freshman Connor Sisson earned the Petrels' lone point. They were up 7-4 and serving for the match, but a service break by the Panthers brought the visitors back into the match. Santaloci and Sisson held serve up 7-6, though, and won it 8-6. The three-line team of Magee and Schneider lost a tight, back-and-forth match in a tiebreak, while Benson and Johnson fell 8-4 at No. 1.
"It was nice to get the SAA opener against Birmingham-Southern today," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "We were down 2-1 after doubles, including a tough loss at No. 3. However, we really responded in singles, sweeping all six for a 7-2 victory. We will be severely tested again versus regionally-ranked Millsaps on Sunday."
The Petrels host the Majors from the Howell Courts Sunday beginning at 10 a.m.