For the men’s tennis team this season, the highs have been high, but the lows have been low. A trip to the Midwest this weekend led to two more losses for the Bears (6-8), extending their current losing streak to four games and landing them a sub-.500 winning percentage for the first time this season. Bruno is also in search of its first victory away from home, as it has yet to record a win during its seven games at away or neutral venues.
In the first match of the weekend, the Bears took on No. 36 Drake (12-5). Going into the match, the Bulldogs were on a streak themselves, as they were unbeaten in their last five matches. They had also been tough to knock down at home, as the Bulldogs were an undefeated 6-0 at Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
Drake started the contest off by winning the doubles point. Co-captain Greg Garcia ’17 and Aaron Sandberg ’18 came close in a tough battle but fell 6-4. Charles Tan ’19 and Jack Haworth ’18 fell 6-2 to hand the point to the Bulldogs.
Garcia was locked in another hardfought match in singles — a three set thriller that he ultimately lost. Three other matches were taken to a third set, but all went unfinished after the Bulldogs claimed the three singles points necessary to win.
“In singles, guys were out there doing their best to get the win against tough opponents and conditions,” Garcia said. “It comes down to a few points here and there that decide matches.”
The Bears remained at Drake the following day to take on No. 49 Wisconsin. Like the Bulldogs, the Badgers came in hot, having won their past three matches. Again, the Bears dropped a very tightly contested doubles point. Tan and Haworth won their match, 6-4, and Mladen Mitak ’19 and Peter Tarwid ’18 came close to securing the doubles point but were shut out in the tiebreaker.
In singles play, the Bears captured their first two points of the weekend thanks to Tarwid and Sandberg. The former prevailed in a roller coaster match by a tally of 7-6, 1-6, 6-0, while Sandberg won handily, 6-3, 6-4. Unfortunately, three other lost matches doomed the Bears to another loss by an aggregate score of 4-2.
“We need to keep focused and keep fighting, and we will start to win these matches,” Garcia said.
Despite its current losing streak, the team returns home — where it holds a record of 6-1 this season — next weekend to face off against Illinois State and St. John’s.