Men's Tennis Gets First Win Of Season Over Concordia
Athletics - posted on 3/29/2006
The Lakeland men's tennis team picked up its first win of the season Wednesday, defeating Concordia of River Forest, Ill., 4-3.
The win is the first for first-year head coach Ben Oestreich, who took over following the retirement of David Lauer after last season.
"I was so proud of the guys and how they battled in each match to earn the win," said Oestreich. "I was happier for them more than anything else. The team has taken each loss in stride, but it wears on you. I'm happy to see that some of our work is starting to pay off. We've still got a long way to go."
For the Muskies, Matt Rutlin and Josh Larson started off the night with their first doubles victory in their career at No. 1. Rutlin followed up his doubles victory with solid play to earn his second win of the night, and first career singles victory against last year's NIIC champion, Alex LaChapelle.
Lee Sparks cruised in his first set 6-1 before falling behind 5-1 in the second set. Facing a possible third set super tie breaker, Sparks ripped off six straight games to win the match 7-5.
In the last match of the evening, Brian Kaufman took the court with the weight of the match on his shoulders. He felt the pressure and dropped the first set 6-3. Up 2-1 in the second set, Kaufman was forced to overcome a 5-2 deficit but gained back the momentum and defeated Concordia's Zach DeArmund for the first win of his college career.
"Each match was so close, and then to have it come down to No. 6 singles featuring Brian Kaufman," said Oestreich. "It was his first singles victory in his career, so I was very happy for him. He has worked hard the past four years and not seen the results yet. Last night he finally got over the hump."
The Muskies (1-5) will next face Marian College in their conference home opener on April 8.
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