TENNIS: Wet weekend pushes back debuts

Jason Stamm

Western’s tennis teams were exact opposites of each other this weekend against Cumberland, with the women dominating and the men coming up short in a losing effort.

Both teams got off to a wet weekend on Friday, with both matches against Olivet Nazarene being canceled. The weather also pushed back both the men’s and women’s outdoor home debuts.

The women got off to a drier start on Saturday hosting Cumberland, winning in impressive fashion 6-1. In singles, Western got wins from Karina Ledaja at No. 1, Ieva Balcus at No. 2, Ilze Rozentale at No. 4, Dana Underdonk at No. 5, and a win by default by No. 6 seed Laura Caffey. Ledaja’s 6-1, 6-0 win moves her to 5-1 on the year.

“We had a lot more from top to bottom,” coach Jeff True said. “We definitely realized the difference of being outside, but this win definitely builds our confidence.”

On the doubles side, the tandem of Ledaja and Balcus at No.1 added another match to the win column, racking up an 8-2 win. Western also picked up wins from Rozentale and Olga Kosaka at No. 2 and Caffey and Underdonk at No.3 in sweeping the doubles portion.

“I expected it to be a lot harder because it was outdoors,” Ledaja said. “I was still surprised with our doubles result because Ieva and I are still working on our combos. We did stay pretty consistent though and that really made a difference.”

The men weren’t nearly as fortunate at home this weekend, getting outplayed in all facets by Cumberland, losing 6-1. Western was shut out at seeds one through five, with the Toppers’ lone win coming from sophomore Ryan Durham at No. 6, 6-3, 7-5.

“We were just outmanned,” True said. “We had a chance at No.1, but they just had a lot of depth. They were very good at 3-5.”

The doubles portion didn’t favor the Toppers either with Western falling 2-1. Western’s only win came from the No. 3 combo of Durham and fellow sophomore Franco Serra 8-5.

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