Tennis: Dayton overcomes injuries, pick up first team wins

_MG_9386WSenior Drew Hanley prepares a return shot against SIU Edwardsville, Jan. 24, at the Five Seasons
Sports Complex. The University of Dayton men’s and women’s tennis teams both picked up their first wins
of the season last weekend. CHRIS SANTUCCI/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

By: Katie Obear – Staff Writer

The University of Dayton women’s and men’s tennis teams each captured their first wins of the season last weekend in duel matches.

The women fell 4-0 to Chicago State University Saturday, Feb. 8, in Chicago, Ill., but beat Valparaiso University 4-2 Sunday, Feb. 9, in Valparaiso, Ind.

This victory was memorable for the women’s team, as they only had five players compete due to injuries previously sustained by their teammates.

“On the women’s side, its tough playing when you have almost half of your roster out with injuries,” said head coach Ryan Meyer. “But the way our girls dug deep this weekend, they played their butts off against Valparaiso and even though being down a point going into the match, they were able to pull out a victory and that says a lot about our girls.”

The injuries forced the Flyers to win four out of the five singles matches they played on Sunday instead of the standard six matches usually played.

The team was able to accomplish that with four straight victories from junior Sammi Hornbarger (6-3, 6-1), sophomore Carly Peck (6-0, 6-2), freshman Alex Townsend (6-4, 6-0) and freshman Mandy Marchant (6-4, 6-1).

“Sammi [Hornbarger] always comes out ready to play and being the number one single spot she always has some tough competition,” Marchant said.

In doubles, the team dropped the point after being defeated in the No. 1 and No. 3 matches. The second match was not completed because the doubles point was already decided.

After picking up their first win, the Flyers are looking to improve for their upcoming matches.

“We are growing and learning with each other as well as always staying positive in a match and supporting our team,” Marchant said.

The men’s tennis team beat Chicago State 4-1 on Saturday in Chicago, but lost 5-0 at Valparaiso on Sunday in Valparaiso.

“I definitely feel that on the men’s side, our senior leadership is really showing, “ Meyer said. “[Senior Andrew Hanley] is playing some of the best tennis of his career right now, leading the way in both doubles and singles.”

For the doubles matches at Chicago State, junior Aidan Koross and freshman Bernardo Sanson, as well as Hanley and junior Josh Malyon, led the team to the doubles point, winning two out of three matches.

Sanson (6-2, 6-1), senior Andrew Hanley (6-5, 6-5) and freshman Andy Druffel (6-2, 6-3) helped the Flyers win three of their singles matches to take the match.

The women’s team continues its season against Ball State University Saturday, Feb. 22, at 5 p.m., in Muncie, Ind.

The men’s team will compete against the University of Toledo Friday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m., in Toledo, Ohio. The team will host Eastern Illinois University Sunday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m., at the Five Seasons Sports Club.

Meyer said he likes the improvements both teams are showing and that gaining experience will help make them both better.

“We look forward to the challenge week in and week out and we will keep working until we get where we need to be,” Meyer said.

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