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Charger men's tennis team uses singles success to beat Wayne St., 4-3

Charger men's tennis team uses singles success to beat Wayne St., 4-3

The Hillsdale College men's tennis team was trailed for nearly all of its road match against a tough Wayne State team on Sunday at the Peachtree Tennis Club in Clinton Township, Michigan.

But when the dust settled, it was the Chargers who pulled out a 4-3 win thanks to huge victories down the lineup.

For the first time this season, Hillsdale lost the doubles point, falling in all three matches. Junior Brian Hackman and freshman Daniel Gilbert came the closest to pulling off a win at No. 3 doubles, losing a 7-6 (5) heartbreaker, and the No. 1 doubles team of sophomore Tyler Conrad and freshman Sean Barstow were also competitive in a 6-4 loss.

Losing the double point meant the Chargers had to win four of the six singles matches to win the match. Hillsdale pulled it off thanks to two three-set thrillers and two big comeback performances.

After getting blanked 6-0 at No. 2 doubles to start the day, both freshman Brennan Cimpeanu and senior Gabe Katz refocused and rebounded with two critical singles wins. Cimpeanu topped David Solar of Wayne St. 7-5, 6-1 at No. 2 singles for the Chargers' first point of the day, and Katz defeated Joe Steele 7-6 (6), 6-2 in a hard-fought match at No. 6 singles as well.

At No. 4 and 5 singles, Hillsdale clinched the come-from-behind victory with two clutch three-set victories. Hackman rallied from a 4-6 first set loss to win the next two 6-3, 6-4 and defeat the Warriors' Luke Laws at No. 4 singles, while Gilbert won a marathon 6-3, 5-7,7-5 victory over Wayne St.'s Donovan Nguyen at No. 5 singles for the Chargers.

Hillsdale improves to 4-0 with the victory and continues to get better as the competition level increases in the spring 2021 season. The challenge continues to grow this coming weekend, as Hillsdale faces off against two of the Midwest's best programs when it travels to Grand Valley State on Saturday for a 1 p.m. match, then hosts Ferris State on Sunday for a 4:30 p.m. contest.

Photo by Summer Fields