Men's Tennis Splits Opening Matches

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Blugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire men's tennis team opened its 2011 season with a 6-3 loss to Coe College (Iowa), but later rebounded with an 8-1 victory over St. Ambrose University (Iowa).

Against Coe, the Blugolds didn't have much luck in singles competition. Chris Kuna (Jr.-Edina, Minn.), with a tight 7-5, 6-3 win from the No. 1 spot, captured the lone victory. All of the doubles matches were closely contested as well. Eau Claire came out on top in No. 1 matchup after Lars Olson (Sr.-De Pere, Wis.)and Kuna defeated their challengers 9-7. The duo of Eric Wollum (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) and Dirk Van Rybroek (Jr.-Madison, Wis./Edgewood) also picked up the win from the No. 2 spot with a 9-8 victory. Ben Robertson (So.-Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) and Florent Marco (So.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) just missed the win with a 9-7 loss in the No. 3 spot.

After the day's initial loss, Eau Claire experienced more success in the afternoon match against St. Ambrose. The Blugolds swept the doubles competition and won from all but the No. 3 spot in singles events. Two Blugolds, Wollum from the No. 1 spot this time and Van Rybroek in the No. 5 slot – each only gave up three games in their victories, as Wollum won 6-2, 6-1 and Van Rybroek defeated his opponent 6-3, 6-0.

Olson and Kuna teamed up for the doubles No. 1 victory with a result of 8-5 while Robertson and Marco picked up a slightly closer 8-6 win in the No. 2 slot. No. 3 pair Bryan Yanagita (Fr.-Minneapolis, Minn./South) and David Stingley (So.-St. Paul, Minn./Highland Park) easily handled their opponents 8-1 to complete the doubles sweep for the Blugolds.

The split matches gives the Blugolds an even 1-1 record to begin the season. Next Saturday, Eau Claire will look to pick up two more early-season victories against St. Cloud State University (Minn.) and St. Olaf College (Minn.). The first match against St. Cloud is set to begin at 10 a.m. in St. Cloud.