Men’s tennis beats Wright State 7-0 on Senior Day, Friday

It was Senior Day at the Helfaer Tennis Stadium, and two of the finest to ever play at Marquette didn't disappoint. Trent Hagan and Stephen Shao led the Golden Eagles (13-6) to a perfect 7-0 win over Wright State on Saturday afternoon. The victory will be the last home win of Hagan's and Shao's stellar careers. Both seniors are top-five in the school's all-time singles win list.

"Though tennis is a group effort, our two seniors obviously play a major role," coach Steve Rodecap said. "They are very mature and have high standards for themselves."

Marquette has had an up and down season, but the consistent play of their seniors and their nearly unbeatable play at home have been bright spots. With the win over Wright State, the Golden Eagles moved to 11-1 at home on the year. All 11 victories have come by 7-0 margins and their only loss was to a nationally ranked Wisconsin-Madison team.

Individual stuff is great, but all I care about is the team," Shao said. "The Big East Championship is obviously our goal. It is cliché, but we just need to take it one match at a time now."

Hagan and Shao started of the dominate play of Marquette with a win at No. 1 doubles. It was the 18th career win for the duo at doubles. After coming out with an early lead, the Golden Eagles never looked back the rest of the day. In singles play, Marquette didn't drop a single set.

Shao earned his final singles home win 6-3, 6-4 over Jan Alafriz. The senior set the tone with the victory and the rest of the team followed suit. Juniors Dusan Medan, Niko Boulieris, and Mark Rutherford won their singles matches in straight sets. Freshman Jonathan Schwerin also pulled out an easy win. Fellow freshman Drake Kakar then secured the sweep with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Brad Krick at No. 6 singles.

Marquette will leave the comfort of home for a four match road streak. After the grueling road trip, the Golden Eagles will travel to Tampa, Fla. for the 2009 Big East Championships on April 16-19. They have the talent and drive to make some noise.

"I think we can compete with anyone," Rodecap said. "Louisville and South Florida are very good. Our rivalry with DePaul gets pretty heated. Notre Dame is obviously very good, they were the champions last year."

With the strong play of Hagan and Shao, the Golden Eagles will look to reign supreme over the Big East. A conference championship would just be another superb accolade for two of Marquette's greatest competitors.