By Nate Tenopir, Sports Editor
When the week began, the UNO men’s tennis team was looking at the possibility of going the year without a win over a fellow Division I team. But a 4-3 win over Western Illinois on Monday guaranteed that wouldn’t happen.
However, the Mavs still had four games in three days to end the season. Luckily, the D-I win came on Monday because UNO could only manage two team points the rest of the week.
In back-to-back matches on Tuesday, the Mavs were swept twice, first by Bradley 7-0 then 9-0 to Lindenwood. Wednesday and Thursday weren’t much better as UNO fell 6-1 to Missouri-St. Louis and 6-1 to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
Neither singles nor doubles could earn a point on Tuesday while the doubles team of sophomore Carlos Ramos Salazar and junior Peter Greteman grabbed the only victory on Wednesday. Sophomore Anthony Forcucci was the only winner on Thursday.
“The men didn’t have an easy match this week,” head coach Mike Saniuk said. “They performed really well even though the scores didn’t show it. They never gave up, they fought hard. Overall it was a successful trip, I thought, for the men’s team.”
Tuesday the only bright spot was the team of Ramos Salazar and Greteman. Though the pair lost both of their doubles matches, they played their opponents close, dropping doubles against the Bradley team of Albitar and Weerasinghe 8-6 then falling 9-8 to Lindenwood’s Mastroianni and Tucoulou.
In singles Nathan Greteman won the most games of any UNO competitor against Bradley, dropping the sixth spot 6-3, 7-6. The freshman was the only Mav to push his match to three sets at Lindenwood, falling 6-3 in the first, rebounding to sweep the second set 6-0 then losing the tiebreaker 10-8.
Wednesday Salazar and Peter Greteman defeated the Missouri-St. Louis doubles team of Schumacher and McLarty 9-8 to earn UNO’s only team point. The Mavs’ singles teams were dominated, winning only 12 games in six matches.
Salazar fell in the one spot 6-1, 6-3, Forcucci was swept love, love in the two spot and freshman Connor Larson retired in the third spot after being down 6-1, 2-0. Sophomore Brandon Otoski had UNO’s best effort in the fourth spot, falling 6-1, 6-4, Nathan Greteman lost the fifth spot 6-2, 6-0 and senior Ben Williams did not play in the six spot.
Salazar and Peter Greteman weren’t as lucky the next day, dropping their doubles match 9-1. Nathan Greteman and Williams won the third spot 8-5, but Larson and Forcucci fell 8-4 in the two spot giving Southern Illinois-Edwardsville the doubles point.
Forcucci’s 6-3, 6-4 victory over Christensen in the two spot was the only UNO point on the day.
“He played really well,” Saniuk said about Forcucci’s win. “It just shows Anthony that moving forward he’s gonna build off that he can play against really tough competition. He definitely earned that victory.”
Ramos Salazar and Williams were the only other Mavs to win more than three games in a set.
Ramos Salazar dropped the first spot 6-4, 6-1 and Williams forced three sets, winning the first 6-3, losing the second 6-1 and falling in the tiebreaker 10-7.
Dropping the final four matches of the year leaves UNO with a 6-13 record in their first season of Division I play.