Men’s tennis grabs fifth place at Big East Championship tournament

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Senior Jose Manuel Munoz dropped the final match of his Marquette career, a doubles fixture with junior Jonathan Schwerin. Photo by Emily Waller/

The Marquette men’s tennis team ended its season Sunday with a 4-2 loss to No. 60 DePaul in the fifth-place game of the Big East Championship tournament.

The Golden Eagles fell 4-0 to South Florida Friday but rebounded to defeat seventh-seeded Georgetown 4-0 the next day in the consolation bracket. Marquette finished in sixth place overall in the field of nine teams.

Senior Jose Manuel Munoz lost the last match of his Marquette career 8-4 in doubles with junior Jonathan Schwerin.

The duo of freshman Dan Mamalat and sophomore Jose Carlos Gutierrez Crowley defeated DePaul sophomore Mathias Hambach and freshman Filip Dzanko 8-2 to claim Marquette’s lone doubles win of the day.

In singles play, Mamalat defeated junior George Chanturia 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, and junior Drake Kakar defeated Hambach 6-4, 6-1 for the Golden Eagles two points of the match.

After getting swept in the first day of the tournament, Crowley felt that the team’s change of heart and desire rather than strategy led to the win over the Hoyas.

“I was surprised by the reaction of the team after the tough loss to South Florida,” Crowley said. “We didn’t change anything strategically, but we stayed hungry and really stressed fighting for every single point.”

The Golden Eagles attributed much of their rough weekend and season to their youth, as young players such as Mamalat and Crowley were the high points of weekend as well as the season.

“A lot of the teams in this tournament had a lot of veterans,” Mamalat said. “We were starting so many young guys, and for many of us, it was either our first or second Big East tournament. This weekend just helped us get tougher and I’m really excited for next season.”

Much of that youth showed great promise in the Georgetown match, as Mamalat and fellow freshmen Logon Collins and Thibault Troude and sophomore Otavio Perim all scored singles victories.

Coach Steve Rodecap said that his team was very disappointed with its overall finish, specifically with their play in the doubles round.

“In both the matches we lost, we didn’t win the doubles point,” Rodecap said. “Against good teams, it’s hard to find four points in singles.”

Rodecap also acknowledged that the Golden Eagles had progressed a lot throughout the year and developed a good young nucleus. Rodecap was particularly impressed with the recent stepping up of Mamalat and Crowley as the team’s number one doubles duo.

“At the top of the lineup we did really well, which is where I thought we were going to be a little bit weaker because of the younger guys,” Rodecap said. “In my opinion, (Crowley) is the most improved player not just on our team, but in our region. (Mamalat) added so much to our team, and his will to win is unmatched by any of our other players. He is probably the best freshman I’ve ever had as far as consistency. Both are going to be really big factors in what we do over the next few years.”

Rodecap said the Golden Eagles were losing a great teammate in Munoz and someone that was going to be very successful in life. Rodecap remains excited for his team’s future with the presence of promising youth.

“I think that we gained a lot of experience this year,” Rodecap said. “This tournament has to sit in your stomach for the summer and just keep you motivated on the days you feel like you could put something off for tomorrow to get it done today.”