Freshman Milan Mirkovic picked up a win at No. 3 singles on Sat­urday. (Photo: Jessie Fox / Hillsdale Col­legian)

The Hillsdale College men’s tennis team split two matches over the weekend, reaching 3 – 3 in con­ference play. The Chargers dropped a 5 – 4 decision to Wayne State Uni­versity Sat­urday afternoon, ending their five-match win streak. On Sunday, the Chargers bounced back to defeat Northwood Uni­versity 5 – 4. Sunday’s win — the Chargers’ third GLIAC win this season — secured their spot in the GLIAC tour­nament, a first for the program. 

Freshman Milan Mirkovic picked up a No. 3 singles win 6 – 4, 6 – 2 on Sat­urday. Junior captain Dugan Delp was a No. 4 singles winner 6 – 1, 6 – 4, and teamed up with sophomore John Ciraci to win No. 2 doubles 8 – 5. 

Sophomore Justin Hyman paired with freshman Charlie Adams to win at No. 1 doubles 8 – 5. 

“It felt good fin­ishing that close with a good team — they fin­ished third in the GLIAC last year,” head coach Keith Turner said.

Hillsdale lost to the War­riors 9 – 0 last season, so Saturday’s score marks improvement. 

“The dif­ference between last year and this year was huge,” Delp said. “Although we lost, it gave us good momentum going into Sunday.” 

The Chargers toppled Northwood 5 – 4 on Sunday evening, their third win over a regionally-ranked team this season. 

Hillsdale swept doubles play for the fourth time in its last six matches.

Adams won at No. 3 singles 6 – 2, 6 – 3, and teamed up with Hyman for a No. 1 doubles win 8 – 2. 

Delp picked up a No. 4 singles win 2 – 6, 6 – 3, 6 – 2, ral­lying after a first set loss to decide the match. Delp joined Ciraci to win at No. 2 doubles 9 – 7. 

Hillsdale fell to the Tim­ber­wolves 8 – 1 last season, a team coached by Zane Cole­stock, who has won a com­bined 34 GLIAC cham­pi­onships in men and women’s tennis. 

“Northwood is tra­di­tionally one of the best teams in the nation,” Turner said. “They’ve won 20 con­sec­utive GLIAC con­ference titles.”

Delp said that sweeping doubles was key to beating the Tim­ber­wolves.

“To go up 3 – 0 in doubles takes so much pressure off, because then you just have to win two singles, instead of four,” Delp said. “We are using this as moti­vation to not be content where we are at.”

After this weekend’s per­for­mance, the Chargers are set to compete in the GLIAC tour­nament later this month. 

“In our last year in the GLIAC, we are trying to show everyone else in the con­ference just how good we’ve become in the last two years before we leave for the GMAC,” Ciraci said. 

The Chargers have won five of their last six matches, improving their record to 10 – 7 on the season. 

Hillsdale will face Tiffin Uni­versity next Sat­urday, April 8, with only three matches remaining until the GLIAC tour­nament. 

“Beating three regionally ranked teams is amazing for a second-year program,” Turner said.