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Drake Men’s Tennis notches three wins on opening weekend

Drake Men’s Tennis notches three wins on opening weekend

The Drake men’s tennis team started their spring season with three straight victories, 2024 with big momentum. Photo by Sarah Fey: Staff photographer.

Drake men’s tennis team went 3-0 at home to open up their spring season. The Bulldogs first took the courts on Saturday, Jan. 20 to compete against both the Washburn Ichabods and the Northern Illinois Huskies. 

Drake got off to a great start in the match against Washburn after quickly earning the doubles point. 

At doubles, one for Drake was Oliver Johansson and Matija Matic. Johansson and Matic secured a 6-3 win over Washburn’s Tim Hammes and Santiago Rendon. Markus Bolin and Jeremy Schifris later scored a 6-2 win at the doubles three spot to help secure the doubles point for the Bulldogs.

 In singles, the Bulldogs continued their strong play. Schifris played at the singles one spot for Drake and got a three-set win to open things up. After winning the first set 6-3 and dropping the second set 6-4, Schifris quickly turned things around and won the third set 6-1. 

At singles two, Matic won the first set 6-2, dropped the second set 6-3 and then was able to quickly win the third set 6-1. At the singles four spot, Bolin got a straight set win over Pavlos Parson to secure a singles point for the team. The Bulldogs ultimately prevailed 4-1 over Washburn to start the day. 

Later that afternoon, the team took to the courts again to compete against the Huskies. Once again, Drake secured the doubles point after Johansson and Matic won at the doubles one spot and Matt Clegg and Ben Johnson won at the doubles two spot. Heading into singles, Drake had a 1-0 lead in the overall match score. 

At the singles one spot, Schifris lost his first set 7-6 but then continued to fight through the match, winning the second set 6-0 and the third set 7-5. Johansson played singles two for the Bulldogs and won the first set 7-6, lost the second set 6-4 and then quickly won the third set 6-2. Clegg also had a three-set match — after dropping the first set 7-5, he continued to play through the match and won both the second and third sets 7-6. 

Bolin played the singles five spot for Drake and won his match 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. At the singles six spot, Johnson got a quick 6-1, 6-2 win for the Bulldogs. Drake beat Northern Illinois 6-1.

The Bulldogs took the court again the next day on Sunday, Jan. 21 to compete against the William Woods Owls. The Bulldogs won the doubles point after getting wins from Johansson and Matic at doubles one and Johnson and Aaron Dawson at doubles three. Drake got wins across all six singles matches, sweeping the Owls and earning a 7-0 win for the Bulldogs. 

“I think we went out and competed well as a team,” Bolin said. “I am excited to use this momentum through the rest of the season and can’t wait to see what this team accomplishes this season.” 

The Bulldogs have many more home matches in the upcoming season. Matic also expressed his thoughts on the team’s performance this past weekend.

“Being able to play three matches in our first weekend was a great opportunity to get some match repetition,” Matic said. “I’m proud the team was able to get the job done in the matches that we had this past weekend. 

The Bulldogs will compete again on Feb. 3 against the Creighton Bluejays.