After winning its last four consecutive home matches, the men’s tennis team lost to an experienced Butler University team last Sunday.
Before entering its match against the Bulldogs, the Braves (4-2) gained impressive back-to-back victories against Valparaiso and SIU-Edwardsville on Saturday.
Bradley junior Milos Romic had a good weekend, going 2-1 in first singles in his three matches.
Romic said that his confidence level was pretty high coming into his matches against the Crusaders and the Leathernecks.
“I was the favorite against Valparaiso, because I have beaten [Alex Lau] before,” he said. “The guy from SIU really got me angry during our doubles match, and I went crazy on him during our singles match.”
Romic and his doubles partner, junior Callen Fraychineaud, were also successful in their doubles matches, finishing the weekend with a 2-1 record.
The Braves continued to roll past their opponents with wins from senior Evgeny Samoylov in third singles and key doubles victories with the pairings of junior Richard Robertson and freshman Mitch Osborne, along with Michel Macara-chivili and Trevor McGrath to spark the Braves, eventually crushing the Crusaders 5-2, and the Leathernecks, 6-1.
During Sunday’s match, the Braves could not fend off the offensive onslaught of the Bulldogs, dropping all of their matches.
Robertson pushed his singles match to a hard-fought third set tiebreaker, but came up short against Zach Irvin in the fifth singles slot.
Robertson said the match had an unfortunate ending.
“We were playing point-for-point,” he said. “He got lucky on some shots, and I got lucky on some shots, and it ultimately went his way.”
Robertson also said he needs to start better and try to win the first set of his matches because he seems to be having slow starts.
Even though the Braves were defeated by the Bulldogs, coach Jesse Plote said he was more than content with how the team played in its three matches.
“We were flexible, we were bonding, and most of all we are growing as a team,” he said. “We are starting to improve in many ways and we are looking to the future and where we need to be at the end of the season.”
Plote also said he can’t explain how important it is to go 2-1 over the weekend, but there are always things to work on and bring to future matches.
“We need to work on our first serve percentage and being a little more aggressive,” he said. “One factor that we need a little more effort on is confidence in close matches, so we can close them out.”
The Braves are away this weekend visiting Illinois-Chicago at 6 p.m. Saturday, and Northern Illinois at noon on Sunday.