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Men’s tennis team dominates doubles play in first tournament

Originally published in the September 17, 2010 

The men’s tennis team would not let Mother Nature stand in the way of a successful start to its season.

The Hotels at Grand Prairie Invitational marked the first competition for the freshmen-heavy men’s tennis squad.

Friday started off with doubles play, and No. 1 pair, sophomore Eric Nguyen and freshman Hamish Weersinghe, made quick work of their Eastern Illinois and  Green Bay opponents, 8-1 and 8-3 respectively.

The third match against DePauw was the team’s toughest match, but lighting forced play to be suspended and moved to Saturday.

“The weather delay on Friday that had pushed play back to late Saturday morning was expected and didn’t effect us,” coach Jesse Plote said. “However, the guys came out ready to play at the No. 1 doubles spot both Friday and Saturday which is not an easy task to stay focused for the four doubles matches played.”

The break didn’t slow Nguyen and Weersinghe down, and they went on to finish the match 8-6 and finished doubles play with a 4-0 record after an 8-4 victory over IUPUI’s No. 1 squad.

The No. 4 freshmen combo Justin Abrams and Kevin Keiner were not as dominant as the No. 1 pair, but were able to pull out wins in close matches against Green Bay and a mixed duo 9-7 and 9-8 respectively.

The No. 2 pairing of freshmen Ashton Kalhorn and Arthur Romanet was defeated by DePauw’s second pair 8-5,  but wins against Green Bay and IUPUI helped them finish with the second best record in their group.

Sophomore Juan Cuadrado and freshman Devon Manning split their four matches.

The Braves finished doubles play with a  record of 12-3 and tied with DePauw for the best record.

“The part that stood out for me was our success in doubles,” Plote said. “For a young new group of guys to match up together with no experience and have a successful weekend with posting a 12-3 record in doubles is nice to see.”

Nguyen was able to push his unbeaten doubles streak into his single matches, with two victories Saturday.

His streak ended Sunday however in his first match of the day against DePauw’s Red Garlock, 7-6, 6-3.  After the loss, Nguyen won his remaining two matches and finished 7-1 overall.

Keiner had much of the same success, pushing his 4-0 doubles record to 6-0 with 2 victories Saturday. He lost two matches Sunday and finished 6-2.

As a whole, the team finished with a singles record  of 17-13, second behind the Green Bay squad.

Abrams, Nguyen, Weerasinghe and Kalhorn all finished singles with a 3-1 record, while every other player finished with at least one victory.