Tennis battles through injuries to earn win over Centenary

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson

The SDSU men’s tennis team took on the Centenary Gents on March 28. The Jackrabbits came back from a 2-1 deficit, sweeping the four through six singles matches to win 4-2 in the match in Tulsa, Okla.

Centenary built a 2-1 lead for the day when Evan Magill defeated SDSU’s Michael Engdahl 7-6, 7-6 in straight sets in second singles. Jacob Dawson got the second win for the Gents when he beat Alex Lauseng 6-2, 6-1 in the third singles match.

SDSU would go on the win the next three matches to claim the victory and move to 6-10 for duals on the season and 1-1 in the Summit League.

SDSU’s Justin Pyle defeated Matt Shoptaugh of Centenary 6-4, 6-4 in fourth singles.

Jeff Hughes got the fifth singles win for the Jacks, as he defeated Seva Kostelanetz 6-2, 6-2.

Evan Sims earned a victory for SDSU over Centenary’s John Reeks 7-6, 6-0 to give the Jacks a sixth singles victory and match victory.

In first singles action, Corey Paluch defeated Centenary’s Jules Bourgon 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Bourgon came back to win the second set with a 4-6 win, but Paluch took the last set to earn the win.

SDSU head coach Don Hanson was happy with the win over Centenary after injuries limited the Jacks on March 27 against IPFW and ultimately led to the Jacks’ loss. Hanson described the win over Centenary as “almost legendary.

“Our number one, Corey Paluch, who could take everybody in the league, has a very bad shoulder injury. Against IPFW, he couldn’t serve; he lost his points in the match, and we lost 4-0 to IPFW,” Hanson said.

Other Jackrabbits that are hurt are Michael Engdahl, who is battling a pelvic injury, and Cody Malik, who has walking pneumonia.

“We’re calling ourselves the wounded rabbits. We may be wounded but were not dead,” Hanson said.

The coach said all the players have impressed him with their resilience.

“They all did because every single one of them all came together. They came back that next day, and even with hurt players, we had a freshman step up [Evan Sims] and Jeff Hughes, the Summit League Player of the Week who also won his match. We got the victory over Centenary,” Hanson said.

The SDSU men’s tennis team will compete against IUPUI and Oral Roberts on April 9 in Fort Wayne, Ind., in the Summit League Cluster.