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The men’s tennis team poses with Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn after clinching the G-MAC regular season title. (Photo: Cleves Delp | Courtesy)

The Hillsdale College men’s tennis team clinched the G-MAC regular season cham­pi­onship on Sunday, after sweeping Walsh on Sat­urday and Findlay on Sunday in the Biermann Ath­letic Center.

The Chargers move to 12 – 6 overall and 8 – 0 in G-MAC play, claiming the No. 1 seed in the G-MAC tour­nament this weekend, which is at the Owensboro Tennis Center in Owensboro, Ken­tucky.

The Chargers claimed five singles matches in straight sets against the No. 3 ranked Walsh Cav­a­liers and decided all six singles matches in straight sets.

Sopho­mores Milan Mirkovic and Charlie Adams won No. 1 singles 6 – 1, 6 – 2, and No. 2 singles 6 – 1, 6 – 1, respec­tively. Junior Justin Hyman took No. 3 singles 7 – 5, 6 – 2. Senior captain Dugan Delp won No. 4 singles 6 – 1, 6 – 1. Junior John Ciraci won No. 5 singles 6 – 3, 7 – 6. Sophomore Michael Szabo won No. 6 singles 6 – 1, 6 – 2.

Adams and Hyman clinched a perfect record in con­ference play and 13 – 4 on the season with an 8 – 5 No. 1 doubles win. The duo was ranked in the top 40 doubles teams in the nation this season.

Ciraci and Delp won No. 2 doubles 8 – 1, matching Mirkovic and Clouette’s No. 3 doubles score.

Hillsdale started with a strong 3 – 0 lead entering singles play against Findlay, ranked No. 2 in the con­ference.

Adams and Hyman seized No. 1 Doubles 8 – 1. Delp and Ciraci shut out No. 2 doubles.

Julien Clouette and Mirkovic won No. 3 doubles 8 – 7, 7 – 3.

Mirkovic won No. 1 singles 6 – 0, 6 – 2. Adams fought a long match to claim No. 2 singles 6 – 3, 6 – 7, 2 – 7, 10 – 5. Hyman took No. 3 singles 7 – 6, 7 – 6, 6 – 7, 3 – 7, 10 – 5. Delp won No. 4 singles in straight sets, 6 – 4, 6 – 1, before being honored as the Charger’s lone senior. Ciraci was a No. 5 singles winner by default. Szabo defeated junior Sergio Palacio 6 – 1, 5 – 7, 10 – 4.

Mirkovice took home his third G-MAC tennis Player of the Week award on Monday. He enters the G-MAC tour­nament with a com­bined singles and doubles record of 22 – 9 in the 2017 – 18 season.

Head coach Keith Turner said the Chargers played well against tough com­pe­tition.

“It was just a great overall match for the whole team,” Turner said.

Delp said the Chargers fought hard for their victory. The team won just two singles matches in straight sets.

Mirkovic said he was proud the Chargers blanked what he called two of the toughest teams of the con­ference.

“The fact that we were able to beat both of these teams 9 – 0 is huge, meaning that we’re really in good shape and we have a really good chance of winning the con­ference tour­nament,” Mirkovic said.

Delp said the Chargers’ endurance was a deciding factor against Findlay.

“We just played super well and had great energy,” Delp said. “Espe­cially against Findlay, we had a number of close matches that ended in tiebreaks, but we just were able to pull out every single one of them, so it was really exciting. It was a great way to end the regular season and it gave use some good momentum, for sure, going into this weekend.”

Turner said he was proud of his team’s per­for­mance.

“We knew we were playing for the regular season cham­pi­onship and once again, we played a really good match,” Turner said.

Turner noted the strength of the team’s doubles play.

“Overall, I think Justin Hyman played his best match of the year. We played good doubles all down the line all weekend, and that set the tone,” Turner said. “Getting up 3 – 0 in both matches really made things a lot easier for us.”

The Chargers took five of their eight G-MAC vic­tories 9 – 0, including their last three matches.

“We’re excited to come into this tour­nament and really dom­inate,” Delp said.

Hillsdale will enter the G-MAC tour­nament as the No. 1 seed on April 20 – 21 and face No. 4 seed Davis & Elkins.

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    Both the Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams were absolutely out­standing this season. They breezed through the GMAC like a hot knife through butter. Both are odds-on best for the tourny cham­pi­onships as well. Well done!

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    UPDATE: Both the Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams won the GMAC Tourny this weekend, 5 – 1 in both cases. Well done coaches and players, what a great season! Regular season and Tourny champs-and both teams bring back nearly all their players for next season.