The Hillsdale College Men’s tennis team started off their fall season at the Chargers Men’s Tennis Invite, where they won four different draw titles.
Sophomores Brennan Cimpeanu and Sean Barstow each went 6 – 0 between singles and doubles play. Together, they won the A doubles draw title, Head Coach Keith Turner called the pairing the best doubles he’s ever seen played for the team since he began coaching with the team in 2015.
“It was our first time playing together officially, we each had different partners last year,” Cimpeanu said. “There was definitely a little bit of trying to get a feel for the ball and each other as partners. Once we got a significant lead in the first match, we just sort of connected, and it carried us through the rest of doubles.”
Individually, the two sophomores also went undefeated, with Cimpeanu bringing home the A singles draw titles, and Barstow leaving as the B singles draw champion.
“We had some good teams here, especially Wayne State, for Brennan to go out and beat the guys from Wayne State and the guys on the top flight was just awesome,” Turner said. “Sean had one of the best individual wins I’ve seen in my career as a coach, in the semi-final match when he beat Niklas Karcz from Wayne State. That guy’s an amazing player, for Sean to beat him was just amazing.”
Barstow agreed with his coaches’ high praise, he commended the skill of his opponent, and said that he remembers him beating one of his best teammates last year.
“That’s good to hear, that match was really close, basically the whole way through, I thought I played amazing,” Barstow said.
In the finals of the B singles draw bracket, Barstow met senior teammate Brian Hackman. The two played a match that Barstow called much more relaxed than his others at the competition.
At the same time on Sunday, sophomore Daniel Gilbert was finishing up the tie-breaking set in his final match. Gilbert pulled out the win to earn the C singles draw consolation bracket title.
“We’re a little bit deeper than we’ve been in the past, but we’ve got some injuries right now with some freshman, unfortunately we weren’t able to see a lot from them,” Turner said. “Brennan and Sean playing the way they did, and Brian and Daniel also had really good tournaments, that’s four really good players right there, and we’ve got some other guys that will certainly be strong helping us as well.”
For the Men’s tennis team, their fall season is significantly shorter than its spring counterpart. The next and only event remaining on the team’s docket until February is the ITA Midwest Regional.
“Hopefully the freshman will be more able to compete in a couple of weeks, we hope they’ll be fully healthy and I can get an idea, seeing what they’re all about,” Turner said. “That’s the most important thing in the fall, is seeing what the freshman have, we’re looking forward to it and I’m hoping for some great results.”