In a close match the men’s tennis team held off the No. 38 Southern Methodist Mustangs 4-3 to open its season with a victory.
In first doubles action, Colin Purcell and Tim Krebs defeated Gwinyai Chingoka and Paul McNaughton of SMU by a score of 8-6. It was a closely contested match, but the Hurricanes were able to pull away thanks to their advantage in power.
Krebs played well with Purcell, but after the match the sophomore admitted that he prefers singles competition.
“I like singles better because I don’t have to share the ball,” Krebs said jokingly. “It’s all me; I get all the credit whether I win or lose.”
Krebs did get to enjoy some individual glory when he defeated Peter Oredesson 6-4, 6-2.
Krebs’ victory was one of the few easy wins of the afternoon for the ‘Canes. In other singles action, freshman Josh Cohen defeated Gwinyai Chingoka 6-0, 6-0 in his first match as a Hurricane.
Cohen overcame some early nerves and was pleased with his overall performance after the match.
“I played almost excellent,” Cohen said. “I was nervous but not excessively nervous because that would be bad for my game. I always expect to win because otherwise there is no reason to play.”
The second singles match lasted three sets, as Eric Hechtman defeated Paul McNaughton 6-7, 6-2, 6-2. Hechtman overcame back problems during the match, and the Hurricanes were not even sure he would be able to compete against the Mustangs.
“Eric Hechtman played unbelievably,” Assistant Coach Ari Widlansky said. “Even with his injury he still worked hard and came out with a win.”
The other doubles victory for the ‘Canes featured Cohen and Jeremiah Fuller topping Aliaksandr Skrypko and Federico Murgier 8-6. It marked the first time Cohen and Fuller played together.
The Hurricanes suffered one of their three losses in second doubles, as John Hoyes II and P.J. Passalacqua were defeated by Henrik Soderberg and Oredesson by a score of 8-1. Passalacqua is new to the Hurricanes as well, and he came up short in his first doubles match.
No. 3 singles Hoyes II lost to Soderberg in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 2-6. Towards the end of the match Soderberg gained some consistency, making some difficult shots in closing out the match.
No. 4 singles Purcell lost to Skrypko 6-1, 6-3. Purcell did not play as well as he did in doubles with Krebs, with fatigue being a possible factor in his performance.
No. 6 singles Fuller lost to Murgier by a score of 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. It was one of the better matches on the afternoon.
The Hurricanes return to action on Friday against Florida Atlantic. Widlansky feels that the ‘Canes have a long way to go before they reach their potential.
“These beginning matches are good for conditional training so they can be better mentally and physically. They can definitely expect to do well the rest of the season.”
Whitney Brown can be contacted at email@example.com