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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Saint Cloud St. hands Knights first loss this Season

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The Carleton College men’s tennis team entered Thursday evening’s match against St. Cloud State University on a 16-match win streak. The Knights battled throughout the evening against their nationally-ranked opponents but absorbed Carleton’s first setback of the season, falling 6-3.

The Huskies—a NCAA Division II program—entered the match ranked No. 8 among D-II teams in the central region and No. 50 in the nation. Carleton, meanwhile, earned its first regional ranking of the season last week, settling in at 12th in the region.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to play one of the top D-II teams in the region,” said Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel. “Our guys fought valiantly, and we gained some valuable experience. We can use this match as a great preparation for the upcoming (portions of the) MIAC season.”

Carleton (16-1) fell behind 3-0 after three tough doubles matches. Andrew Hwang (Sr./Brookfield, Wis./ University School) and Erik Johnson (Jr./Grand Forks, N.D./Red River) came up short at first doubles, falling 8-4 to Marcelo Locatelli and Joao Poli, the top tandem in the region and No. 10 pairing in the country. Ezra Frankel (So./Lincoln, Mass./Belmont Hill School) and Kevin Mei (Fy./Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) lost by an iden- tical score at second doubles, while Christian Nagy (Jr./Fairway, Kan./ Pembroke Hill School) and Nikita Fomichev (So./Elkhorn, Neb./Elk- horn South) came up short 8-6 at the third slot.

The Knights depth in singles was evident on this evening. Mauricio Gonzalez (Sr./La Paz, Bolivia/American Cooperative School) and Patton McClelland (So./Rock Hill, S.C./Charlotte Latin School) both rallied from a set down to win at fourth and fifth singles, respectively. Frankel dispatched his sixth singles opponent, 6-2, 7-6.

Mei battled Macelo Lacatelli— who is ranked No. 2 in the region and No. 33 nationally—before falling 6-4, 6-1 atop the singles lineup. Johnson and Hwang also lost in straight sets after sending the opening set to a tie-breaker.

“Patton’s first set reminded me of the time my six-year-old son ate a quart of ice cream and then rode the tilt-a-whirl. Fortunately Patton’s adventure ended more successfully,” noted Zweifel.

The Knights have 10 days to prepare for their next match, April 12 vs. Luther College, the No. 19 team in the region. Kyle Appel leads the Luther team and is ranked 23rd in the region for singles participants.

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