By Madeleine Wright
Former French professional tennis player Yannick Noah once said, “I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons.”
On Feb. 10, the Paladins let out victorious battle cries as the men finally broke their four match losing streak. Using Furman’s Mickel Tennis Center as the battlefield, the Paladins clinched wins at number one and three doubles, securing the doubles point. All-star Andrew Mellow and Joel Cook teamed up to take on Presbyterian’s Rafael Berghaus and Grayson Mills and defeated them 8-6.
The next doubles round was unfortunately a Furman loss at 8-6. But Tyler Droll and Jacob Behal pulled through during the third round against Gonzalo Asis and Nathan Crocker, crushing them 8-4.
Mellow lead the winning streak again in singles after defeating Mills. Former doubles partner Cook, followed suit winning his matches against PCM.
Furthermore, Behal and Matt Browne won their matches, which eventually gave Furman the 5-2 overall win.
At the end of the month, the men’s team will be traveling to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama.
On the women’s side, Lady ‘Dins have yet to break their losing streak as the men did. To open the match against UCF in Orlando, Furman won two out of three doubles matches.
Michele Stanford and Amanda Murray defeated doubles team Courtney Griffith and Caroline Eberhart 8-7, while Margaret Boyette and Kelly Sullivan destroyed Jenna Doerfler and Sodia Baptista, 8-6.
The matches continued to go downhill for the Lady ‘Dins as they moved into the singles competition.
Out of the six matches, the UCF Knights took five of them by defeating Furman’s Lauren Kline (5-7, 7-6, 6-2), Katherine Oudin (6-4, 6-2), Alex Moreno-Kaste (2-6, 6-3, 6-2), Amanda Murray (3-6, 6-1, 6-4), and Kelly Sullivan (7-5, 7-5).
Boyette, a junior from Georgia, remained strong for Furman to defeat Clare Mendell, 6-1, 6-2.
The next game against Troy, Boyette held on to cream Candela Munoz Giron, 6-0, 6-4.
Unfortunately, Furman lost five of the six singles competition and all three doubles. This gave Troy a 4-1 victory.
But all is not lost for Furman as the spring season has just opened.
This coming week, the Lady ‘Dins will take on University of South Carolina at home at 5 p.m. in the Mickel Tennis Center.