Men’s tennis drops matches in Oregon

by Miranda Cloyd

As the team spring break trip to California approaches, the Whitworth men’s tennis team will have a change of pace after a weekend of defeats. The Pirates traveled to Oregon to meet Willamette University and Pacific University at their respective home courts. The Willamette Bearcats took victory over the Pirates 6-3, while Pacific won 7-2.

In the first match of the weekend, the Pirates were unable to keep up momentum after winning two doubles matches. The Bearcats came back to take all but one singles match in victory. This was not the outcome that assistant coach Daniel Redfern was expecting.

“We were definitely supposed to win,” Redfern said. “We just had a bad day on the courts.”

This was surely the case, according to sophomore Chris Engelmann. Engelmann was defeated in three sets at No. 3 singles, scoring 6-2, 1-6, 3-6. Though he met his first set with success, Engelmann said his mental game was off.

“I got a little bit tight and nervous,” Engelmann said. “I started playing more not to lose rather than actually playing my game and playing to win. I can definitely learn from that.”

While singles ended in defeat for Engelmann, his partnership in doubles with senior Micah Spaun was met with success. Playing at No. 2, Engelmann and Spaun took the victory with a score of 8-6.

“We were able to get the ball across court and low for the most part,” Engelmann said. “We were able to take advantage of [Willamette’s] serves.”

The Pirates went on to meet the Pacific Boxers last Saturday. After being defeated in all three doubles matches, the Pirates finished the match the way that they started, securing only two points through No. 5 and 6 singles. Redfern addressed the difficulty of a pattern of losses.

“It’s been hard to put together a good match from everyone really,” Redfern said. “We’re playing teams that are a little bit better and it’s hard to keep everyone super motivated.”

Engelmann was defeated by his singles opponent 6-0, 6-4. He said his loss was due to struggles both in his mental and physical game.

“It was really hard to put the ball where I needed to put it and return his [forehand],” Engelmann said. “I came out a little bit nervous and he came out ready to play.”

Whitworth will fly to California over spring break to play non-conference matches before returning to finish out the season.

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