On Friday, April 19, the Colgate Men’s Tennis team played its first round of the Patriot League Tournament at Lichtenberg Tennis Center in West Point, New York. Disappointingly, it proved to be the Raiders’ last chance to play this season.
The Raiders played the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Friday for the second time this season. Their first meeting of the season came on March 31, less than a month ago, when the Mountain Hawks came away with a 5-2 victory. This time around, the Mountain Hawks prevailed with a final score of 4-1.
“An absolutely brutal ending to a brutal season,” Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Bobby Pennington said.
The night started off in Colgate’s favor, with sophomores Scott Bickel and Tyler Krantz winning 6-2, as well as first-year Rohan Gupta and Nick Potter pushing their match to 12 games before winning 7-5 and clinching the doubles team point. The Raiders, however, fell apart in singles play—or, more accurately, the Mountain Hawks came roaring back. Bickel won his first set of one singles 6-4, but was unable to finish. Senior Noah Rosenblat at two singles, sophomore Peter Hartman at three singles, senior Alec Dardis at four singles and sophomore Jack Ablon at five singles all lost in straight sets. Junior Kun Tan dropped his first set 1-6 at six singles and was tied up at 5-5 in his second set when the duel ended.
“First off, that was by far the best doubles we played all year and we won the doubles point. We were playing with so much fire, heart and aggressive energy. The singles were the complete opposite,” Pennington said. “Aside from Bickel, we got outplayed. We battled through sickness, injury, climate and stayed together and hungry until the end. We need to work on our fitness, depth and fine-tune doubles, as our league gets tougher every way.”
This was the last match for seniors Dardis and Rosenblat, who will graduate in May. Dardis has been on the team since his first year on campus but did not play until his sophomore year, when he played in 17 singles matches, winning 10. Rosenblat has also been on the team since his first year, playing in 20 matches his first-year and winning 16 singles matches.
“Last match for Dardis and Rosenblat and we hope this was a message to the younger guys,” Pennington said.
The loss against Lehigh ends the Raiders season, dropping their season record to 7-14. This marks the first time since the Raiders’ 2012-13 season where they finished with a losing record. The Raiders last beat the Mountain Hawks on March 31, 2018, 4-3. With a majority of its players returning for next season, the Raiders are expected to improve.
Contact Ignacio Villar at email@example.com.