The Linfield men’s tennis team ended its conference season in familiar fashion, losing 7-2 to Willamette on April 12.
Sophomore Micah Roos and freshman Tim Hawkins collected a doubles victory for the ‘Cats with a score of 8-5. This was the third victory of the year for Roos and Hawkins as a duo.
“Tim and I both do a good job of motivating each other and not letting the other person get down,” Roos said.
In singles play, the Willamette No.’s 1-5 dispatched their Linfield adversaries with ease. Linfield No. 6 sophomore Lukas Kleinman did score a 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7) victory to help the ‘Cats avoid a clean singles sweep.
When asked about his response after dropping the first set, Kleinman said, “This was the first time I have ever lost the first set and come back to win so I had to battle through the thoughts of another comeback cut short.”
“Honestly, I struggled…the entire match, I’d beat him earlier this year so I knew I could beat him…When it came down to the tiebreak, my serve was unstoppable,” he added.
With the loss, the team’s record fell to 0-12 for the year.
The only remaining game on the schedule is against Cal Tech on April 28 in Pasadena, Calif.
With his thoughts on next season, Kleinman said, “We know that nothing is going to come easy. Next season starts April 29, the day after our last match.”
Linfield will lose its No. 1, senior Zach Lyons, to graduation, and sophomore Joel Trousdale will not play next year as he goes to Spain to study abroad. Everyone else on the roster, barring injuries or transfers, should return next season.
“We all had quality wins this season and instead of focusing on our overall record, we should build off what we did accomplish. We all know we have potential,” Roos said.
Kleinman echoed similar sentiments.
“The effort has been there all year…We have a lot of high character guys who have the skill set to be very solid players in this conference, and we definitely have the coaching, he said.
“There will be no excuses for not improving next year.”
Tyler Bradley/Sports columnist
Tyler Bradley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.