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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Men’s tennis wins tight home opener

In the echoey confines of Genesis Health Clubs, where each grunt, shout and batted ball reverberated around the court, the Wichita State men’s tennis team squeaked out a win in their home opener on Friday against the University of Nebraska Omaha, 4-3.

It was a quick opening to the match, as the Shockers won its doubles point. Sophomore Richey King and graduate student Misha Kvantaliani won on the first court, 6-3, while sophomore Alejandro Jacome and freshman Vanja Hodzic defeated their opponents on court three, 6-1.

Wichita State head coach Darragh Glavin said success in doubles has been a “huge focus” for the team.

“Being able to go into singles knowing we only have to get three (wins), it’s definitely a lot easier than knowing you have to get four against all these quality teams,” Glavin said. “I think today our doubles were really good. We had probably the best focus and intensity we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

The singles matches were tightly contested, with long rallies and tight games on almost every court.

The first two matches to conclude were a Hodzic win on court four in two sets and a Kvantaliani defeat on court two, despite keeping both sets close until the end.

The overall score remained 2-1 for a while until junior Kristof Minarik broke through on the third court with an 8-6 win in the tiebreaker game of the second set to clinch a set sweep.

Jacome’s match on the first court concluded soon afterward. He fought back from a 2-0 game deficit in the first set to win 7-6 on a tiebreaker and carried that momentum into the second set, where he won, 6-2.

Jacome said that after the first set, he played more calmly.

“If you can control the emotions, the other guy starts missing some of the points,” Jacome said.

Jacome’s win clinched the overall victory for the Shockers. The matches on the fifth and sixth courts took a bit longer to conclude, but both resulted in Omaha victories. 

Graduate student Marcelo Sepulveda was swept despite a strong effort in the first set that pushed the tiebreaker to 18 total points, and sophomore Luke Bracks was beaten in the decisive third set of his match, 6-4.

Glavin said despite the win, the Shockers didn’t play their best tennis in singles, especially in regard to picking up wins in close matches.

“I think we have to play a little better in those tight moments,” Glavin said. “So just being able to, in those moments, stay composed a little to be able to play our games and be aggressive on all six courts.”

The men’s tennis team, now 2-3 on the season, will head to Norman to face the University of Oklahoma on Friday, Feb. 2.

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About the Contributors
Jacob Unruh, Assistant Sports Editor
Jacob Unruh is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. He is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. This is Unruh's first year on staff. He goes by he/him pronouns.
Bryan Chavez, Photographer
Bryan Chavez is a first-year photographer for The Sunflower. He is a freshman at Wichita State, majoring in Journalism and Media Production. Chavez is from Dallas, Texas, and wants to pursue a career as a professional sports photographer. Chavez's pronouns are he/him.

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