Four shutout wins expedite match on steamy afternoon

GOSHEN, Ind. — There were two kinds of hot Tuesday afternoon at the John Ingold Athletic Complex. The weather was one thing, with 90-degree temperatures and dew points in the mid-70s pushing the heat index close to triple digits. The Goshen College men’s tennis team was another, posting four individual shutouts in a 9-0 season-opening win over Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

In view of the former kind of hot, the latter kind was probably a benefit, as Goshen (1-0) wrapped up doubles play quickly and posted its first singles win within 90 minutes after the match started: juniors Luke Rush and Evan Beck were done for the day by 2:30 p.m. local time.

The Maple Leafs won 24 games and lost 2 in doubles action, with Rush and Juan Miguel Ciudad teaming up for the day’s first bagel in an 8-0 win at the third spot. Beck, Kartikeya Sharma and Josh Friesen all posted double bagels as well, winning their singles matches 6-0, 6-0 to evoke the carbohydrate-laden breakfast foodstuff.

Sophomores Danny Boussom and Martim Cafe made their Maple Leaf debuts on the afternoon as well. Each player won 8-1 in doubles action with Boussom partnering Sharma at no. 1 and Cafe working with Friesen at no. 2. Both transfers also won their singles matches by the same 6-2, 6-2 scoreline: dropping four games over a two-set match is the most efficient win defined as “routine” by the Universal Tennis Rating, and it was also the closest men’s match of the afternoon.

Ciudad rounded out the singles lineup with a breadstick appetizer instead of the first bagel: he won 6-1, 6-0 over Justin Haggard at the second position.

“Our team played well and was awarded with good results,” said GC coach Evan Atkinson. “We know Mount Vernon Nazarene was at a disadvantage with a long drive and brutal weather today. I was proud of our guys for digging in and playing strong tennis. We have room for improvement, but I was pleased by what I saw on the courts. All of our newcomers performed at a high level and we look forward to the challenges to come.”

Goshen’s next challenge will be its first non-conference match of the season, set for Friday afternoon when forecast temperatures are in the upper 70s. Judson University visits the Ingold Athletic Complex for a 4 p.m. first serve.