Men’s tennis wins at home Sunday

The men's tennis team continues to prove that there really is no place like home. The squad moved to 6-1 at home on the year (7-3 overall) after defeating the visiting IPFW Mastodons 7-0. Marquette got off to a dominate start by sweeping doubles play and then never looked back, coasting to the easy shutout over the 3-8 Mastodons. Stephen Shao and Trent Hagan ended their 5 match losing streak at No. 1 doubles, Dusan Medan and Mark Rutherford moved to 3-0 together, and freshmen Jonathan Schwerin and J.T. Christian also notched the victory to give Marquette the vital point in doubles play. Coach Steve Rodecap said he liked his teams poise and confidence.

"We came out and played the way we were supposed to," Rodecap said. "We wanted to stay focused and I think we did pretty well for the most part."

In singles play, the talented Golden Eagles quickly dispensed the Mastodons. Hagan defeated Hermann Kuschke 6-1, 6-0 in No. 1 singles. The vocal senior leader had his serve going and his opponent struggled to even return the ball cleanly for most of the match. In the other singles matchups, Medan defeated Felipe Gama 6-1, 6-1; Niko Boulieris defeated Luis Maselli 6-3, 6-1; Rutherford defeated Rodrigo Tamashiro 6-1, 6-2; Schwerin defeated Diego Arteaga 6-0, 6-2.

The only interesting match of the day was at No. 5 singles, where freshman Drake Kakar and opponent Ryan Vogt went into a tiebreaker in the first set in which Kakar won 7-6. Even with the victory well in hand at that point, the rest of the Golden Eagles headed over to the far side of Helfaer Courts to cheer on the last man standing from Marquette. The support and encouragement displayed by Marquette has been a consistent theme this season, and the benefits of being such a close-knit group of guys is evident.

"It made me more relaxed having the team cheer me on," Kakar said. "I never felt alone out there."

After the intense first set, Kakar settled down and pulled out a 6-3 win in the second set to finish of the sweep. While the strong play of upper classmen Hagan, Medan, and Boulieris was to be expected, Schwerin and Kakar provided a big lift to the team with impressive wins.

"I thought I played pretty well," Schwerin said. "My serve was going good and I was on the offensive most of the match."

With the 7-0 win over IPFW, Marquette chalked up yet another dominate win over an overmatched opponent. The team has certainly showed that they have the talent so far this season, but the next step going forward will be proving they can beat a ranked team.

"I think we're a lot closer than we've ever been," Rodecap said. "We have a tough road trip coming up where we can get that good win. It will be a test, but I think we're in the position to do it. We're not satisfied with anything we've done so far."

Kakar said that the team is determined to get over the hump and pull off a big team win.

"We all want it so bad," Kakar said. "We definitely have the talent, and I hope it will come."

"It's not a question of 'if'," Rodecap said, "but a question of 'when.'"