This past weekend we competed in our conference tournament to end the season. We were the #4 seed from our half of the conference and so had to play the #1 from the other half in the first round. That happened to be Denison. We competed very well in doubles with Ben Godlove and Ben Turchin losing an 8-6 decision at #1 doubles and Joe Leffler and Sam Towne dropping their match at #3 by the same score. We ended up dropping the match 0-5.
We came back Sunday morning to play in the backdraw against Wittenberg. We didn’t play them in the regular season so I was looking forward to having a shot at them. Leffler and Towne got us off to a great start demolishing their opponents at #3 while Peder Davis and Eliot Heaton lost a close one at #2. Turchin and Godlove turned their level up a notch in the middle of their set to closeout the doubles with us having a 2-1 lead. Turch finished off his opponent first to give us a 3-1 team lead. They caught us with wins at #3 and #4 before Ben Godlove finished his opponent off with an amazing down the line backhand on match point to put us in the lead 4-3. Witt took the #6 spot and #5 split and came down to a single set for the match. We took the lead but the Wittenberg player played a gutsy match coming back to give us a heart breaking defeat with a 6-4 win in the 3rd to beat us 5-4.
The growth of our team became apparent at this point in that instead of allowing this defeat to tear us down, the guys became more determined that we would not lose the final match of our season. It ended up that we were to play Wooster and that really excited our guys since we had lost to them 3-6 in the regular season without two of our starters. We started play outside and quickly established our dominance in doubles. Godlove and Turchin were the first to come off the court with a win soon followed by Leffler and Towne. Rain began to fall and with Davis and Heaton leading 7-4 we had to move the match indoors. We quickly finished off the next game with Eliot serving indoors to go up 3-0. Unfortunately Eliot had to retire after the first set of his match at #3, but we were well in control of Sam’s match at #4 and Ben Godlove’s at #1. Sam closed his out first with a definitive 6-0 score in the 2nd set and fittingly Ben Godlove got to clinch the match with his win in his final collegiate match. This earned us a 7th place finish in the conference.
I also want to congratulate alums John '61 and Carl '94 Erikson for winning another USTA National Championship in April. They have now won 5 gold balls!!!
“You have to want to win and expect that you are going to win. Top players have that edge. Even if they’re down a few games, they know they’re going to toughen up and come up with what it takes to win.”
- Martina Navratilova