Jacks’ standings drop after Cluster

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

The South Dakota State men’s tennis team kicked off its conference season this past weekend with a three-match, three-day Summit League cluster in Indianapolis.

Things got started on March 26 with a 4-0 loss to host IUPUI. Despite being shut out, SDSU had solid performances in No. 1 and No. 2 singles. No. 1 Corey Paluch and No. 2 Justin Pyle each won their first set 7-5 before the match was called.

It was a similar result in No. 1 doubles as Jamie Dash and Dominic Rossetto led 7-4 before the match could be concluded.

“The first day was tough after the long (14-hour) bus ride, and we played a team that was at home and rested,” said SDSU head coach Don Hanson. “They got up and got us. We thought we could take IUPUI, but it wasn’t to be. We were only one match away.”

The event was not without controversy as Oral Roberts is protesting a match against IUPUI because a player shifted positions. No player that regularly plays at one position can move down more than two spots, but IUPUI’s normal No. 1 singles player moved down to play No. 3 singles. SDSU chose not to protest.

On day two, the Jacks were shut out again 4-0, this time at the hands of Summit League-leading UMKC.

Dash led his opponent 7-6 (7-4) in No. 4 singles and was the only Jackrabbit to not be defeated or be behind when the match was called.

The duo of Alex Lauseng and Pyle were on their way to victory leading their No. 3 doubles opposition 5-2 before it was called.The Jacks claimed their first Summit League win of the year on March 28 after they defeated Centenary 4-0.

Paluch improved his record to 9-4 after a hard fought 7-6 (12-10) win in the first set No. 1 singles contest. The senior closed the match with a 6-1 second set victory.

No. 2 Pyle (6-1, 6-4) and No. 3 Rossetto (6-2, 6-2) each notched straight set wins for the two other singles points that SDSU picked up.

The Jacks also picked up the doubles point with wins at No. 2 doubles and No. 3 doubles, while Dash and Rossetto led their No. 1 doubles opponents 7-2.

“There’s no one in the Summit League that we can’t beat,” Hanson said. “It’s going to come down to the last pod (April 9-11 in Kansas City) and who steps up. We are going to step up and it’s as simple as that.”

SDSU (9-9) looks to move over .500 when it takes on St. Cloud State April 1.