After losing three consecutive games, the UC Irvine
Men’s Tennis team, now with an overall record of 6-6, proved
victorious on March 12 against the Portland Pilots.
In the past several games, Head Coach
Steve Clark made a strategic move to separate senior
Jon Endrikat and junior
Brian Morton, his dynamic
duo, into two different doubles teams.
‘The reason we did it
was because they were sixth
in the country and we were
losing doubles points. The
team comes first,’ Clark said.
The result of the separation was a positive one as
the Anteaters swept all three
doubles matches. In number one doubles, Morton and junior Ryusuke Kashiwabara overcame a 1-4 deficit to defeat
their opponents, 8-5. At
game point, Kashiwabara managed to attack the net
to seal the deal with a
striking backhand volley
down the middle. Their heightened intensity as
well as their nearly flawless net play helped the pair win the match.
When asked about Clark’s decision to split up the
duo, Morton responded, ‘I think
it adds depth to our team. We
play well together, we live together and we’re good friends. It’s fun.’
In number two doubles, Endrikat and senior
Wkwesi Williams led most
of the way as their
level of intensity was extremely high from the start. Their final match score resulted in an 8-4 margin.
Going into the singles matches, the Anteaters had a
one-point advantage over the Pilots.
Playing number one singles, Endrikat defeated
Roman Borvanov in three
sets (3-6, 6-4, 6-3) after
losing the first set out of frustration and several unforced errors early on.
Playing number two
singles, senior Zoran Korac
also won in three exciting sets with a match score of 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Overall, the Anteaters had
a solid day, winning five of
their six singles games and defeating Portland with a final score of 6-1.
The next home game for
the Anteaters will be against
Yale University on March
15 at the Anteater Tennis