Men’s Tennis tames Georgetown

Grenadiers drop only one court en route to dominant 6-1 victory against Tigers

Sophomore+Jerid+Inman+prepares+to+serve+to+Georgetown%27s+Hunter+Nosek+during+the+Grenadiers%27+home+match+against+the+Tigers+on+Feb.+27.+Inman+defeated+Nosek+at+%233+Singles+6-0%2C+6-3

Brandon Miniard

Sophomore Jerid Inman prepares to serve to Georgetown’s Hunter Nosek during the Grenadiers’ home match against the Tigers on Feb. 27. Inman defeated Nosek at #3 Singles 6-0, 6-3

Brandon Miniard, Sports Editor

The IU Southeast Men’s Tennis team got their season started on a slightly sour note, dropping their first two contests of the spring. A 7-0 loss to Bellarmine followed by a 6-1 defeat against #25 Campbellsville in the Grenadiers’ home opener put them in an early 0-2 hole on the young campaign.

Along with the weather, the Grenadiers managed to warm up their cold start somewhat as they hosted Georgetown College on Saturday, Feb. 27. The Grenadiers came out firing at almost every court between singles and doubles, dropping only one court en route to a dominant 6-1 victory over the Tigers.

“It’s been nice getting to play outside, which is a little bit rare this time of year,” Head Coach Joe Epkey said. “You go that long without playing matches [due to the pandemic], and it’s nice to see all of the practice the guys put in and see all that effort on a daily basis.”

The match began with doubles action, with a single match point on the line. The Tigers made an early statement in the match when their top duo of Cole Wilson and Parker Clarke took care of Brock Winchell and Cade Burman 6-3. The Grenadiers countered on the other two doubles courts, starting with #3 doubles as Jerid Inman and Sebastian Burman easily disposed of Jared Towell and Kobie Wessling 6-0.

That left the true freshman duo of Michael Wright and Connor Mason to try and wrap things up. The pair dropped the first five games to Hunter Nosek and Logan Smallwood at #2 doubles but roared back by winning seven in a row to give them a 7-5 victory and the doubles point for the Grenadiers.

Moving on to singles actions, Harris put the Grenadiers in front early as he dominated Wessling at #6 singles, sweeping the contest 6-0, 6-0. Mason followed with a victory over Towell at #5 singles, winning fairly easily by a score of 6-2, 6-1.

Inman was next to conclude at #3 singles, taking care of Nosek 6-0, 6-3, his victory guaranteeing a match victory for the Grenadiers. The match victory didn’t stop Winchell at #2 singles, as he went on to defeat Clarke 6-1, 6-2.

The final court victory for the Grenadiers came in peculiar fashion at #4 singles. Cade Burman initially trailed in the first set before rallying back to win it 6-4. After one game into the second set, Smallwood went down during a volley, suffering an apparent injury. After being diagnosed with a rolled ankle that was subsequently wrapped, Smallwood elected to continue the match. After two more games, Smallwood was forced to retire from the match due to the injury, giving Burman a 6-4, 3-0 victory.

“We had way more energy and felt like we were wanting to win way more than we did on Tuesday against Campbellsville,” Winchell said following the match.

The Tigers managed to claim the top singles spot as Wilson dispatched Sebastian Burman 6-1, 6-4. The victory meant very little as the Grenadiers captured the match 6-1, giving them their first victory of the season.

Epkey noted how energized his squad looked and acted during the match, loudly pumping each other up regardless of whether or not they won a point, set, or match. That was a quality that was reportedly absent, or at least less prominent, during their previous matches.

“We’ve been on the guys about being positive and having a lot of energy, and they did exactly that,” Epkey said. “That’s why we won, because of the effort and energy level.”

The Grenadiers return to action on Saturday, March 6, when they host the University of Pikeville. The match is currently scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.