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Men's Tennis Dominates First Home Matches of Year
By: Ashley Hofer, Sports Information Student
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - It was another weekend and another pair of wins for the UW-Eau Claire men's tennis team as they took down both Bethel University (Minn.) and Milwaukee School of Engineering 9-0 today at the Olson Indoor Courts.
The win over Bethel was the Blugolds’ first complete sweep of the season. In singles, Chris Thornton (Sr.-St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) gave up just one game in his 6-1, 6-0 No. 6 spot victory. Lars Olson (Sr.-De Pere, Wis.) and Ben Robertson (So.-Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) also gave up just three games each in their respective No. 2 and No. 5 matches.
In doubles, No. 2 duo Eric Wollum (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) and Dirk Van Rybroek (Jr.-Madison, Wis./Edgewood) won the closest match, slipping past the Bethel opponents for the 9-8 win. Regionally-ranked pair Chris Kuna (Jr.-Edina, Minn.) and Olson in the No. 1 spot and No. 3 players Ryan Vande Linde (Fr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) and Florent Marco (So.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) each picked up 8-3 victories as well.
The Blugolds earned another perfect victory in the afternoon match against Milwaukee. Thornton again won with set scores of 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 6 match, meaning he gave up just two games all day. Marco scraped out a 7-5 first set from the No. 3 spot but followed it up with a dominating 6-0 second set for the match victory.
The wins in all three doubles matches extended the Blugolds’ tremendous doubles efforts of the season. Eau Claire has won 17 of its 18 doubles matches played this spring, losing only one match to Coe College (Iowa) in the season-opener. Against Milwaukee, all three duos won while giving up three games or less, with the best match coming from the No. 2 spot with Marco and Vande Linde’s 8-1 win.
The Blugolds – who are ranked 14th in the Central region – now own a 5-1 overall record. The team will hit the courts next Friday for a match against St. Norbert College (Wis.). Competition is set for 5 p.m. in Green Bay.