GC’s quest for league perfection ends prematurely
By Chandler Ingle
Sports Information Intern
GOSHEN, Ind — A premature run for a perfect season in the Crossroads League came to an abrupt end for the Goshen College men’s tennis Team Tuesday evening at the Goshen College Tennis Complex. A Juan Miguel Ciudad victory at no. 2 singles was the lone GC bright spot amidst an 8-1 defeat to CL co-leader Indiana Wesleyan University.
With the loss, the Maple Leafs (2-1, 2-1 CL) relinquished their four-way tie atop the CL and were bumped to third place in the early season standings. The win for IWU (3-0, 3-0 CL) pushed the Wildcats into a two-way tie with Spring Arbor Universityfor first place in the conference.
The 6-4, 6-4 victory for Ciudad moved the Valencia, Spain. native to 3-1 on the season and 3-0 in CL matches at no. 2 singles this season.
“I believe Juan played his best match of the season,” said Goshen director of tennis Evan Atkinson. “Juan kept his composure and closed out his match very nicely.”
Lukas Kanther jumped out to an early 6-2 lead after the first set but lost the second 6-2 to make things interesting. He then dropped the third set, a match tiebreaker, 10-6 to lose a heartbreaker at no. 5 singles.
The loss snapped Kanther’s unblemished freshman campaign singles and pushed him to 3-1 at the no. 5 singles slot. Aritha Weerasinghe was the next closest to victory for the GC men with a 6-4, 6-4 loss at no. 4 singles. Weerasinghe’s loss was also his first of the young season.
Doubles action was much of the same for the GC men as Eric Zuercher and Kartikeya Sharma dropped their no. 1 doubles match 8-3. Kanther and Luke Rush dropped their contest 8-2 at no. 2 doubles. Weerasinghe and Ciudad could not build upon their success in singles as they too dropped their no. 3 doubles match 8-3.
“We put forth a good effort but did not execute the shots we are used to making,” Atkinson said. “I’m proud of how our guys battled for each point but disappointed that I don’t think we displayed our full skill.”
Goshen will look to get back in the win column this Thursday as they travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take on non-conference foe Concordia University. The mid-week match is set to begin at 12 p.m.
Full Results: Indiana Wesleyan 8, Goshen 1
- Eli Steiner (IWU) beat Eric Zuercher 6-1, 6-2
- Juan Miguel Ciudad (GC) beat Joel Montgomery 6-4, 6-4
- Daniel Zolnikov (IWU) beat Kartikeya Sharma 6-3, 6-2
- Jacob Rankin (IWU) beat Aritha Weerasinghe 6-4, 6-4
- Austin Christner (IWU) beat Lukas Kanther 2-6, 6-2, (10-6)
- Tyler Abbott (IWU) beat Evan Beck 6-0, 6-1
- Steiner/Zolnikov (IWU) beat Sharma/Zuercher 8-3
- Rankin/Gavin White (IWU) beat Kanther/Luke Rush 8-2
- Christner/Montgomery (IWU) beat Ciudad/Weerasinghe 8-3
Goshen College is an affordable, nationally-ranked Christian liberal arts college in Northern Indiana known for leadership in intercultural and international education, sustainability and social justice.
The Maple Leafs compete in 13 varsity sports in the NAIA’s highly competitive Crossroads League, continuing a tradition of intercollegiate athletics that dates to 1956 and included women’s competition nearly a decade before Title IX. For more information on GC athletics, visit www.GoLeafs.net and follow the Maple Leafs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @GCMapleLeafs.