In a whirlwind week for the men’s tennis team, the Oles landed in Sunday, May 4’s MIAC championship match for the first time since 2009.
In the quarterfinals on Wednesday, April 30, No. 4-ranked St. Olaf took on No. 5 Bethel. The Oles defended their home turf, defeating Bethel 6-3. The match started rocky after the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams fell to their Royal opponents, but the No. 1 tandem of Stephen Nolan ’15 and Joey Kronzer ’16 clinched a 9-8 victory.
The singles play swung the opposite way, with the Oles decisively winning 5 of their 6 spots. Kronzer recorded a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 2 singles, Ben Carlson ’16 defeated his opponent 6-2, 6-3, Matt Christensen ’15 was a 7-5, 6-2 victor and Mike Schroeder ’16 cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 obliteration. Nolan fell at the No. 1 singles spot to his Bethel opponent, but the overall team match score of 6-3 claimed the Oles a spot in the semifinals.
During the semifinal match on Friday, May 2, St. Olaf upset cross-town rival Carleton in a 5-2 victory. The match began well with identical doubles wins. Keenan Gladd-Brown ’16 and Christensen, the No. 2 team, and Nico Gibb ’15 and Schroeder, the No. 3 team, posted 8-5 scores. Nolan and Kronzer lost by the same margin, 5-8.
Both Nolan and Kronzer avenged theit doubles loss with victories in singles play. Nolan easily won 6-1, 6-3, and Kronzer defeated his Knight opponent 7-6, 6-2. Schroeder added his 6-4, 6-3, singles victory to the tally, bringing the Oles to the necessary 5-point mark to win the match.
In the MIAC championship match, St. Olaf faced No. 1 seed Gustavus. The Gusties overpowered the Oles, winning 8-1. Christensen was the lone victor for the Oles with a three-set match, holding on for the 6-3, 4-6, 10-3 win.
The Oles finished the season 9-6. It was St. Olaf’s first trip to the MIAC championship match since 2009 and marked their first victory over Carleton College in six years.