Tennis teams search for win in HAAC

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Will Duncan:Senior Will Duncan serves the ball during a match against John Brown University Saturday at Laury Tennis Courts. The 8-1 victory was the first win of the year for the men?s team. :[Pat Howell] the Baker Orange

The Baker University men's tennis team won its first match of the season Saturday in Baldwin City.

The Wildcats defeated John Brown University 8-1. The lone loss for the Wildcats was due to a forfeit by senior Stephen Donly, who was unable to compete in his singles match due to injury.

"We ended up winning all the matches we played on the men's side," head coach Joe Ahmadian said, "which is huge for our guys, because we have been working really hard this season."

The women's team also defeated John Brown University 6-1 Saturday.

"On the (women's) side it was a really good match," Ahmadian said. "The best match we had was our No. 2 doubles with (junior) Brie Lowery and (sophomore) Danielle Griggs."

Lowery and Griggs battled back after being down 7-2 and won six games in a row to take the lead 8-7.

The teams continued to fight for the lead, but Lowery and Griggs won the tiebreaker and took the match.

The Wildcats next matches were against Bethany College Saturday. The women won two out of three doubles, but the men lost 9-0.

"Bethany was a little different story (than the John Brown match)," sophomore Jordan Toothaker said. "They were a really good team, and we kind of just used it as practice to make ourselves better."

Ahmadian said sophomore Tresa Carter had a great singles match against the Swedes, but lost the second set in the tiebreaker.  

The 'Cats returned to conference play for Tuesday's matches  against the Cardinals of William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.

"We lost, but everyone played phenomenal, (men and women) alike," Carter said.

Both the men and women's teams remain winless in the HAAC, with losses against Evangel University, Missouri Valley College and William Jewell.

"We are playing well, but we are in a really good conference," Carter said. "So, that's difficult, but considering the level of skill there is in our conference, I would say we are playing well."

The Wildcats have struggled to win close matches throughout the season, and Carter said that is something the teams can improve on.

"We are so close that it's sad when the score doesn't reflect how close the match was," Carter said. "And, I think that's something we need to really work on."

Ahmadian said the Wildcats will learn to fight through tough stretches by playing in more matches and competing for every point.

The Wildcats' will play at home for the second consecutive weekend, with their next matches coming against conference foe Graceland University at 11 a.m. Saturday on the Laury Tennis Courts.

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