The young tennis team finished the NCAC segment of their season without a single conference win after losing 7-2 at Wittenberg last Saturday.
Wabash (4-12, 0-6) travelled to Springfield, Ohio in the hope of redeeming themselves after two losses against the Tigers earlier in the year. The Little Giants put up a good fight in their doubles matches but ultimately lost all three. Reese Long ’24 and Paul Hargitt ’23 put Wabash closest to a victory in doubles but lost the tiebreak 7-9.
In singles, both Cole Borden ’24 and Trevor McKinney ’24 claimed victories. Borden won his match in straight sets, beating Wittenberg’s John DeVito by scores of 6-3 and 6-4. McKinney had to push a little harder for his win. After losing the first set 4-6, he flipped the score in the second and went on to win the third in convincing fashion by a score of 10-4.
Hargitt had a topsy-turvy affair in his singles match. After winning the first set 6-1, his opponent Roy Jensen came back to win the next two by scores of 1-6 and 5-10. All of the other Little Giants lost in straight sets, making the final result 2-7 in Wittenberg’s favor.
On the whole, this year has been one of experimentation for the young Wabash squad. With no seniors and five freshmen on the roster, as well as the lingering presence of Covid-19, the season was always going to be tough. Reed Mathis ’22, one of only two juniors on the team, said that “coming into the season, our expectations as a team were to continue to build off of the strides we made as a team at the beginning of our rebuilding program. By this point in the season, five of our eight players are freshmen, and so the impact and presence of them is apparent and on full display each day, practice, and matchday.
On the effect of the pandemic, he added, “in our best efforts to have the most ‘normal’ season as possible, it goes without saying that we were often reminded of the risks and looming effects of COVID-19 throughout the season. Whether it was having COVID-19 tests every single week or having to readjust our workouts because of positive tests on campus, it kept us alert and ready for the unexpected.”
Wabash finish out their season with a non-conference match against DePauw this weekend. While this year has been difficult for all involved, the young Little Giants have more than proven their potential and should go into next season confident of better things to come.