Tennis struggling early on

Following very strong performances in the fall season from both the Colby men and women’s tennis teams, the Mules stalled when they began play this spring. The squads enter the final stretch of NESCAC play following a multi-game spring break trip to Florida.

The Colby men are led on the court by standout Carl Reid ’17, who was the first male Mule tennis player to be selected as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year as well as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast Region Rookie of the Year last year. Reid was First Team singles in the NESCAC as well as Second Team doubles, and he finished his freshman year as one of the top eight tennis players in DIII and as an All-American after bowing out in the NCAA National Championship Quarterfinals.

Despite difficulties, both squads sit in the top half of the NESCAC, with the men in fifth and the women in fourth. The Mules began conference play against tough squads from Hamilton and Bates. Against Hamilton, the Colby men pulled out a 6-3 victory following strong performances from their top three seeds, Reid, Vlad Murad ’17, and Cameron Hiller ’17. Colby solidified the victory following a nail-biter at third seed doubles. The duo of Shaw Speer ’18 and Hiller was able to clinch a win for the Mules following a 9-8 game. The women were defeated by the Colonials 7-2, the two coming from the three seed, Maddie Lupone ’18, and six seed, Katie Ryan ’18. Talamo, who was competing as the one seed, was unable to win a pro set, losing 10-4.

In a matchup with rival Bates, both squads were unable to emerge victorious before they left for their Spring break competitions in Orlando, FL. The men lost 6-3 following a sweep of positions two through six, with the only victory coming from Reid playing as the top seed. The Mules also dropped two of three doubles matches, with the only victory an effort from the first singles pair of Reid and Murad. The women were defeated 8-1 with the only positive on the day being a win by Ryan in a pro set. She competed in the fifth position, after moving up from the sixth spot.

As the Mules departed for Florida, both teams were in need of confidence-building victories. Colby enjoyed success early on as the men cruised to an easy 9-0 win over Lawrence College. However, the following day, both squads were outmatched, with the men shut out 9-0 and the women losing 8-1. Despite the setbacks, both teams were able to rally and win three straight games in dominant fashion. The light competition allowed for a number of starters to rest and recover, but also allowed for players to compete outside of their normal seeds. Hiller was the one seed for the men the majority of the week, while the women rotated players into the top seed. Although the Mules were victorious in the first half of the week, they were unable to continue their success as the men dropped three games in a row and the women lost two of their three final matches.

Returning from Florida, the Mules were slated for a matchup with NESCAC power, Amherst College. The fifth (men’s) and fourth (women’s) nationally ranked Lord Jeffs outlasted the Mules and walked away with 7-2 and 8-1 victories. Reid was the only singles victor for the Colby men, while Ryan again proved her dominance at the five seed, winning her match 8-4. As both squads enter the back half of their seasons, the Mules look to remain competitive in the NESCAC and keep a tight grip on their table positions.

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