Men’s tennis faces tough losses at national championships

Bella Baff, Associate Sports Editor

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The Tulane men’s tennis team has had a standout season so far, holding a No. 30 national ranking on the most recent Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association listing and a 4-6 record. Following back-to-back wins against then-No. 18 Tennessee and No. 19 Florida State at the end of January, Tulane secured a position at last weekend’s ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Tulane was the 16th seed in this tournament, which was held at the Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago from Feb. 15-17.

Tulane began the weekend facing top-seeded Ohio State University (13-0) in its first match on Friday. This was a historic matchup for the Green Wave, as it marked the first time the team has played the top-ranked school in the nation since Hurricane Katrina.

Courtesy of Stormy Nesbit, ITA Tennis
Sophomore Hamish Stewart put up an impressive fight this weekend

The Green Wave struggled against the Buckeyes, eventually falling 4-0. The doubles matches were relatively close, with 6-4 and 6-3 sets on courts 1 and 3, respectively. OSU then dominated in the singles competition, claiming the first set of all matches.  

Sophomore Hamish Stewart put up an impressive performance against OSU’s No.12 ranked Kyle Seelig, holding a 5-7, 2-4 advantage before stoppage was enforced. Tulane junior Ewan Moore, currently ranked No. 88, battled back from a 6-2 loss in the first set for a 5-6 lead in the second before the Buckeyes clinched the point.  

On Saturday’s consolation semifinal, Tulane battled 9th seeded Stanford University (6-2) and again suffered a crushing 4-0 defeat. Like OSU, the Cardinal clinched singles with a trio of victories, winning five out of the first six sets. Still, Saturday’s matches were closer than those of previous day, with Moore and Stewart both claiming the second set of their matches before play was stopped. Stanford took the doubles on both courts with sets of 6-3 and 7-5, respectively.

The Green Wave finished the weekend facing 12th seeded University of Illinois (5-3) in Sunday’s consolation third-place match. In an extremely close battle with no incomplete matches, the Illini narrowly defeated the Green Wave 4-3. Junior Luis Erlenbusch and senior Tyler Shick claimed the first doubles set 6-2, while Stewart, junior Dane Esses and Schick all won their respective matches in singles.

Though Tulane had some low points last weekend, they certainly improved throughout the tournament and were just shy of claiming the win against Illinois. The team has a few matches to regain momentum before conference play begins on March 6. The Green Wave will next face 6-3 Texas Christian University on Sunday, Feb. 24, at the City Park Tennis Center in New Orleans.