Men’s Tennis Wins, then Stumbles

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - May 19th, 2016


Photo by Kaci Mexico

Photo by Kaci Mexico

By Kaci Mexico
May 19, 2016

Fourteenth ranked Westmont Men’s Tennis (10-9) clinched a 5-4 victory over #19 Bethany (13-4) in the Opening Round of the Men’s Tennis NAIA National Tournament. Later that night, the Warriors were knocked out of the tournament when they were defeated in the second round by third ranked Xavier (15-7) by a score of 1-5.

The first and second round matches were played on the same day because the first rounds had to be rescheduled to day two of the tournament due to rain.

“It has been a long and crazy day,” noted head coach Mark Basham. “I was very happy to come all this way and get that win against Bethany – a team that we were ranked higher than, but a team that I was concerned about. We are a solid team but we can’t take anything for granted and I knew that they could beat us. So being down 2-1 after the doubles was a little worrisome.”

In the opening round match against Bethany, the Warriors lost two out of the three doubles matches. Playing at number one, Carl Lindqvist and Travis Kimsey fell to Manuel Raga and Juan Mateus 2-8; at number two, Christian Mathis and Luke Whalen earned a point for the Warriors when they defeated Bruno Campos and Aaron Moses Jr. 8-5; and at number three, Jordan Strandness and Tommy Nightingale lost in a close match to Conrad Mascarenhas and Guillermo Caro by a score of 6-8.

The Warriors were down 2-1 going into singles play and needed to win four out of the six singles matches to be victorious.

In singles play, Westmont and Bethany were neck and neck until the final singles match played.
Playing at number three, Kimsey evened the score when he defeated Mascarenhas 6-1, 6-0. At number one, Lindqvist fell to Raga 2-6, 3-6 and Bethany gained a 3-2 lead. Whalen tied the score at 3-3 when he defeated Mateus 6-2, 6-2, playing at number two. Bethany went up 4-3 when Strandness fell to Caro 2-6, 0-6, playing at number six. At number four, Christian Mathis tied up the score 4-4 for the Warriors when he overcame Campos 6-3, 6-2.

It came down to the outcome of the number five singles match between Nightingale and Moses that would determine who would move on to the second round of the tournament. Nightingale pulled off a 6-2, 6-2 victory to ultimately earn the Warriors a team victory over Bethany.

“So happy with Luke and Christian and how they played in their doubles and singles matches,” reflected coach Basham. “Travis also did a great job as well in his singles. It was really awesome to see Tommy win in that singles match because last year in the first round we lost 4-5 and it came down to Tommy’s match, so it was really fitting to see Tommy win the deciding match in the singles.”

The Warriors ended this match at 4:30 p.m. CDT and in a quick turn-around, began their match against Xavier at 9:30 p.m. CDT.

In doubles the Warriors won one out of the three matches.

Playing at number one, Lindqvist and Kimsey fell to Thomas Setodji and Kevin Chaouat 5-8; at number two, Mathis and Whalen ended the tournament 2-0 as a duo when they defeated Kyle Montrel and Karan Salwan 8-5; and at number three Strandness and Nightingale fell to Tushar Mandlekar and Adam Albrecht 1-8.

In singles play, Xavier won the first three matches to earn the team victory.

At number one, Lindqvist fell to Salwan 2-6, 1-6; at number two, Whalen fell to Setodji 1-6, 2-6; and at number six, Strandness fell to Albrecht 0-6, 2-6.

“When you come all this way you want to be really competitive and it always feels so much better to get some wins,” explained coach Basham. “Obviously the more you can get the better, but for us I think that getting through Bethany and then winning at number two doubles against the number three team in the nation is a good showing. It would have been nice to be more competitive in singles against Xavier, but Xavier is just that talented.”

Westmont Men’s Tennis end their season with a record of 10-9 and as GSAC Regular Season Champions.