|Senior David Stabley|
By David Stabley - Men's Tennis
Jan. 25, 2011
This past weekend the men’s tennis schedule continued with a road trip to Illinois and back-to-back home matches at the Franklin Athletic Club. It was a long weekend, starting with 12+ total hours of quality time in the van going to and from the Fighting Illini’s home courts. It was an exhausting trip, but the experience of playing a high caliber team like that is well worth it, especially when everyone on our squad competes well and we gain respect of their team. Even though the drive home had a striking resemblance to the climate on Hoth, we were all glad to compete against them. The trip back went by pretty slow and caffeine was utilized in order to make it straight through without stopping for a hotel.
On Saturday we made our way to Franklin to play Duquesne after a less than satisfactory night of sleep. Everyone was tired, but we took a long warm-up and did the best we could to get our bodies ready to go. There’s always a lot of pressure on the first home match of the season and this one was no different. Duquesne is a solid team, and they came out loud in an attempt to swing the momentum in their direction early on. With the help of some rowdy fans (and parents) we fought back and took the doubles point which gave us an early 1-0 lead going into singles. It was a good start, but this team wasn’t going away until the match was over. From the start of singles it was apparent our work was cut out for us. One by one the matches came off until it was tied 3-3 with Mike left to win it for us. It’s an opportunity like this that every college player only dreams of until it actually happens. At that point it’s all about keeping your breathing down and sticking to what has been working. Mike fought through the nerves and outperformed his opponent in the third set to give us the 4-3 win. After rushing the court we celebrated the victory over dinner and got a good night’s sleep for our last match of the weekend against IPFW.
At 11:30am on Sunday we started up with another good warm-up and set our sights on getting another victory on the home courts. After a rough start in doubles, IPFW had the lead going into the singles matches. It wasn’t the ideal situation, but I felt confident in our line-up to still pull out the match. After an annoying amount of drama it came right down to the wire with the score at 3-2 Detroit and two matches left. Nick and Alex had everyone’s attention as they battled to put us over the edge. It was awesome to see both guys outlast the other team. Nick clinched it to give us the win and Alex pushed to win the last match and put our final score at 5-2, giving us back-to-back wins at our home courts. In the words of Mike, “That’s what I’d call a weekend”.