MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – In the first ever match at the new Vine Street Tennis Courts, the 13th-ranked Wesleyan University men's tennis team defeated Trinity College, 7-2, sweeping the singles matches to overcome a doubles deficit and start off on a good note at their new home. Senior Win Smith and freshman Marcus Sweeney both played a key role in the victory, with each winning their singles matches and also combining for Wesleyan's only doubles point.
The Cardinals played with three new doubles teams. Sweeney and Smith had never played together before, but clicked from the start, bringing solid energy and executing well on their volleys to win 8-4 at No. 2, giving Wesleyan the first point of the match. At No. 1, senior Cam Daniels and freshman Zach Fleischman, who made the quarterfinals of the ITA Regional Championships as a duo in the fall, fell 8-5, while sophomore Jon Holtzman and freshman Andrew Finkelman were unable to recover from an early break and dropped their match at No. 3 by an 8-6 decision.
In singles, the Cardinals came out with a newfound energy, jumping out to big leads on a number of courts and putting any thoughts of an upset for Trinity to bed quickly. Holtzman, Smith, Fleischman, Finkelman, and Sweeney all won in straight sets, while Daniels needed a match tiebreaker to earn his victory, eventually getting the win at No. 2, 2-6, 6-4, 10-2. For Sweeney and Fleischman, the match was their first look at competition in a college dual match. Said Sweeney, "I was confident in my teammates and was excited to play. I tried to leave it all on the court and was fortunate to get two wins today. Very happy with my first match on the new courts."
The Cardinals will hope to take some of their momentum from the singles on Thursday into the weekend when they have home matches on both Saturday and Sunday, first facing No. 15 Tufts before welcoming in No. 19 Swarthmore. "I think that winning all six singles really was the flip of a switch for our team and has created a lot of really good momentum for us going into the weekend," said Sweeney. "I'm excited for what's to come."
- Saturday's match against Tufts is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at the Vine Street Tennis Courts, and will be immediately followed by the official dedication ceremony and reception for the new courts.
-- Recap by Ben Shapiro --