SARTELL, Minn. (Blugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire men's tennis team continued its early season success this weekend, stoutly defeating St. Cloud State University (Minn.) 6-3 and St. Olaf College (Minn.) 7-2 today.
Three Blugolds – Chris Kuna (Jr.-Edina, Minn.), Eric Wollum (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) and Florent Marco (So.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) – went undefeated throughout the day's events, thanks in part to the doubles teams sweeping all matches. Today's victories also boosted the Blugolds to a near-perfect 3-1 on the season.
In the 6-3 victory over St. Cloud, all three losses came from singles competition, but they weren't from a lack of effort. The No. 2, 5 and 6 matches were all extended to the third set, where the Blugolds were ultimately dealt the final blow. While these matches were close, Wollum had the smoothest route to victory, giving up only four games in the 6-4, 6-0 No. 3 spot win.
In doubles, the No. 2 pair of Wollum and Dirk Van Rybroek (Jr.-Madison, Wis./Edgewood) had the tightest match, fighting for the 9-7 victory. No. 1 duo of Kuna and Lars Olson (Sr.-De Pere, Wis.) and No. 3 pair Ben Robertson (So.-Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) and Marco also picked up respective 8-4 and 8-3 wins to complete the first half of the day's doubles sweep.
The pattern of close matches continued in the 7-2 defeat of St. Olaf. This time, four singles matches went into extras. Wollum fought back in the No. 3 spot from a 2-6 defeat in the second set to clinch the win with a 10-7 third set score. In the Nos. 4 and 5 matches, Marco (5-7, 7-5, 10-8) and Robertson (4-6, 7-6, 10-5) also battled back for the win after dropping the first set. Kuna picked up the only two-set victory from the No. 1 spot with scores of 6-3, 7-5.
Wollum and Rybroek had the best showing in the No. 2 doubles event with an 8-3 victory, but No. 1 pair Kuna and Olson closely followed with an 8-4 win. In the No. 3 spot, Robertson and Marco also edged ahead of the competition 8-6, completing the doubles sweep.
The Blugolds will host their first matches of the season when Bethel University (Minn.) and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (Wis.) come to town next Saturday. The first match against Bethel is set to begin at 10 a.m.