Rally ’til the end
Over the course of the spring season, the men competed in 19 matches. Some proved to be a challenge, and others were matches for the men to assert their dominance in the conference. Coe, Luther, Central, and Wartburg were the biggest challenges, just to name a few. As for the matches where the Duhawks showed no mercy, these included schools such as St. Ambrose, Marian, Aurora, and Buena Vista. Taking a closer look at the most recent matches against Coe, Wartburg, and the University of Dubuque, the men had a rough end of the season. On Sunday, April 28, the tennis team competed against both Coe and Wartburg, and both ended in a loss, 5-0 and 5-2 respectively. That following Tuesday, April 30, the men took Dubuque’s home courts by storm, soundly beating them 8-1 soundly beating them on their senior day. A few days later, the team traveled to Iowa City to once again battle Wartburg. Sadly, the match still resulted in a loss, but the men put up a stronger fight, the final score being 5-4.
“Overall, it was a good year for us,” explained Head Coach Chad Fenwick. “We had a lot of new young guys join the team and gain a lot of experience in matches. This was the third year in a row that the team had a winning record. As for conference, we fell just a little short of those goals due to the team being plagued by injuries.”
In reviewing the performance of the graduating seniors, first up is senior Charlie Harris, who competed in the number one slot. Harris’s most notable wins over the season include matches against MSOE, Aurora, and Simpson. Against MSOE, Harris played against David Chon and won 6-3, 6-4. In the Aurora match, Harris took down Chris LaPort 6-1, 6-1. Finally, in the Simpson meet, Zach Nelson had nothing on Harris, allowing the Duhawk to win 6-1, 6-4.
“Charlie was a great guy to have on the team,” stated Coach Fenwick. “When he transferred here, he gave a nice boost to the lineup.”
Moving on down the list, senior Riley Michel is next up at the number three slot. For Michel, some of his most significant wins were against Illinois College, Simpson, and Wartburg. In the match against Illinois College, Michel took down Michael Connolly 6-2, 6-0. Against Simpson, Michel defeated Reade Reiter 6-1, 6-4. In the final match of the year against Wartburg, Michel overcame his challenging opponent, defeating Will McDonald 7-6, 6-4. Along with these, Michael finished as runner-up at the American Rivers Conference Individual Tournament in the B-Flight Doubles.
Situated right under Riley in the lineup is senior Sean Baldwin. Some of Baldwin’s most notable wins of the season were obtained in matches against Elmhurst, Illinois College, and Wartburg. In the first match of the spring season, Baldwin won a challenging match against Elmhurst’s Lance Maharry, 1-6, 6-2, 10-5. Against Illinois College, Baldwin defeated Cameron Doerr 6-3, 6-2. In the last match against Wartburg, Baldwin annihilated Grant Kincaid, winning 6-0, 6-0. Finally, during the last American Rivers Conference Individual Tournament, Baldwin placed third in B-Flight.
“When I first came to Loras as a coach, Sean and Riley were my first two recruits,” said Coach Fenwick. “I will always be grateful for what they contributed to the team.”
Last, but certainly not least, is senior Joe Janouch. Janouch didn’t participate in any official matches this year, but he contributed to the team in so many other ways.
“Joe was a great guy to have around,” stated Coach Fenwick. “He contributed to the team wherever he could. He strung racquets, he supported his teammates during meets. In general, he was a great teammate.”
With that, the season comes to a close for the Duhawk tennis team.