By Katie Weida
Elm Staff Writer
The Washington College men’s tennis team secured the number four spot in the Centennial Conference tournament with a 5-4 win over Dickinson College last Saturday.
The Shoremen scored the first point of the match when junior Adam Cranford and sophomore Kevin Papen won 8-3 at No. 2 doubles. Dickinson fought back with an 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles, but WC took a 2-1 lead after sophomores Aaron Ellison and John Menzione took a 9-7 win at No.3 doubles.
The match continued to go back and forth with Dickinson winning at No. 4 singles. Papen came back to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles and then Ellison downed 7-5, 0-6, 6-0 at No. 3, putting the Shoremen ahead 4-2 overall. Dickinson trimmed the lead with a win at No. 5 singles, but Cranford clinched the win for the Shoremen with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory at No. 1.
The Shoremen will play host Johns Hopkins next Saturday at 3 p.m.
For Cranford, this will be his third year playing Hopkins in the semifinals; however, he realizes this is not the time to dwell on the team’s past record.
“We just all need to go out there and realize that they are not anything special. They are a very good, talented team, but so are we. I think if we all believe this, there is no reason why we can’t win,” he said.
Cranford came close to beating third ranked Maldow earlier this season but lost in a third set super tie-breaker. Although the weather conditions were difficult to play in last time, Cranford says there are a few things he needs to do differently.
“The main thing to do against Maldow is to stay patient and smart because he is a tremendous competitor and is focused from the first point to the last,” he said.
Regardless of the upcoming match, the team has had a very successful season. “We have closed the gap on a lot of the teams that gave us trouble the past few years and really pushed against strong teams such as Hampden Sydney and Swarthmore,” said Cranford.
“The bar is still high as far as expectations go, which ultimately pushes all the guys on the team to work hard and improve not only during season, but during the off season as well,” Cranford said.