The Hillsdale College men’s tennis team competed at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regionals Fall Midwest Championships last weekend.
The Chargers were missing almost half of its team but still competed well.
Sophomore Charlie Adams faced the No. 1 seed Sebastien Lescoulie of Grand Valley State in his first round and was defeated 6 – 4, 6 – 0. Adams then went 3 – 2 to advance to the A draw, where he was handed a 6 – 3, 6 – 2 loss to Jean Segura of Missouri-St. Louis.
Adams was awarded the G-MAC men’s tennis Player of the Week award on Tuesday.
Adams was a Second All-Team GLIAC selection last year, going 14 – 7 in singles play, and 13 – 9 in doubles play.
Freshman Gabe Katz won his first two rounds, and was knocked out in the quarterfinals, 1-6, 6-4, 10-4 by Missouri-St. Louis’ Karl Heinrichs.
Sophomore Michael Szabo advanced three rounds in the B draw before he was knocked out 6-3, 4-6, 10-7 by Andrew Dones of Southern Indiana.
Sophomore Milan Mirkovic was sick during the tournament and attempted to compete anyway. Mirkovic lost his first round 6 – 4, 6 – 3 to Griffin Mertz of Wayne State, and was pulled out by head coach Keith Turner.
Sophomore Julien Clouette and Szabo won one B draw doubles match before they were knocked out in the quarterfinals 8 – 3 by Missouri-St. Louis.
De Enrique Schmidt and Katz beat two doubles teams before they were knocked out in the semifinals 8 – 3 by Grand Valley State.
Turner said the ITA, an individual tournament, is the biggest tennis competition of the fall.
“At this tournament, if you win a match, it’s successful. It’s all the teams in the Midwest, so the best players from the Midwest are there, so for the most part there is no easy matches,” Turner said. “If you win two or three rounds, you’ve done a pretty good job in the tournament.”
Teams compete from the GLIAC, the G-MAC, and across the Midwest for individual titles.
“The first day, there were three different playing sites”, Szabo said.
“Atmosphere-wise, it’s different, because you’re not playing right next to your teammates, and there’s an individual aspect to it,” Szabo said. “Normally, everyone is cheering each other on. But here, you might be playing 10 courts away from your teammate. But when we had chances to cheer each other on, I think we did really well. “
Turner said that he had hoped to judge the team’s talent through this tournament, but couldn’t, due to injuries.
It was hard to see where we are at,” Turner said. “Our top four-out-of-five guys last year weren’t playing.”
Junior John Ciraci hurt his shoulder, junior Justin Hyman has an injured ankle, Mirkovic was sick, and senior team captain Dugan Delp was taking the LSAT.
“Our guys have to take care of themselves and get healthy. Stay away from the bug going around campus, keeping their bodies free of injury, and being smart in practice — not pushing themselves or overdoing it,” Turner said. “I’m happy we have 10 guys this year, because it looks like we are going to need the depth, and a lot of people are gonna get to play, whether it’s singles or doubles.”
The Chargers’ top two doubles teams, Hyman and Adams, and Ciraci and Delp, weren’t able to compete.
“We took practice off today, and yesterday in an effort to get everyone healthy, because even the guys who went to the tournament felt beat kind of up,” Szabo said. “We go back to regular practice tomorrow [Wednesday] until our next match, and then we are off-season. But I would argue that we practice even harder then, because we have to get ready to play every single weekend starting after Christmas break.”
Szabo said that he believes the Chargers will win the new conference.
I think we will compete to win the G-MAC, and we are just chasing that goal of getting an NCAA bid. We will have to do really well against nonconference teams, but we are playing really well now, and the new guys are exceeding expectations,” Szabo said. “I think we are poised to make a really good run in the spring.”
The Charges will face Indiana Tech on Oct. 3.