The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s tennis upsets Colgate for first time in 17 years

Photo by Charlie Berman for The Lafayette
The Leopards celebrate after sophomore Sam Gelber walks off against Colgate in a historic win.

Men’s tennis pulled off the win of its season, walking off Colgate University 4-3 in its first win against the Raiders since 2008. In doing so, the Leopards notched their first Patriot League win of the year and put themselves in prime position for their highest conference championship seed since before the pandemic.

The team was unable to capitalize on the momentum, however, losing the next day in a non-conference match to Villanova University.

“It was a huge team win,” sophomore Sam Gelber said of the game against Colgate. “Every guy either playing singles or doubles really contributed.”

“We needed something to turn our season around,” sophomore Nick McKenzie said. “We knew that we could do that with Colgate because we’ve had close matches against them in the past and we knew that if we could bring energy, that anything could happen.”

The match started well for the Leopards, as the doubles teams of junior Arman Ganchi and McKenzie as well as junior Will Woolley and sophomore Jake Magnusson cruised to victory, taking the all-important tie-breaking doubles point.

“We haven’t beaten Colgate in 17 years and after getting that doubles point and taking early leads in the first set of singles, it started to sink in that we needed to lock in and really go for it,” McKenzie said.

After coming up short at the first and two singles singles spots, the Leopards needed to win three out of four of the remaining matches in order to take the match. McKenzie took care of business at third singles, winning 6-2 6-2. Freshman Derrin Lerner, at fourth singles, defeated his opponent 6-4 7-6 (7-5). Colgate claimed court five, which meant the tie-breaking point would come down to Gelber on court six.

After taking the first set with ease, Gelber struggled in the second and let it slip through his fingers, bringing both his match and the entire match to the tie-breaking third set, winning 7-5 4-6 6-4.

“I was just trying to play one point at a time, not thinking about winning or losing even though it’s really hard not to, especially late in that third set,” Gelber said.

At match point, Gelber was able to break his opponent’s serve and come through as the team and fans in attendance erupted.

“We were overjoyed, we stormed the court because it was just an amazing feeling,” McKenzie said. “You know things like that don’t really happen to our program that often so we had to cherish it.”

“The win is such a huge motivator,” Gelber said. “We all played as one against Colgate. We gotta keep doing that and cheering guys on in between points — just keep doing everything we did right against Colgate going into these next three matches.”

The Leopards will compete this Sunday against Loyola as they attempt to clinch a first-round bye in the Patriot League tournament.

“I think this win definitely brought us closer together as a team,” McKenzie said. “It will come down to Loyola this weekend to see if we can get out of that play-in which was our goal at the start of the season. We’re looking at a historic season in the past couple of decades.”

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Charlie Berman
Charlie Berman, Sports Editor

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