Thomas Pitney

Sports Editor

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the Wooster men’s tennis team competed against Lourdes University at the Aspen Racquet Club in the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Game. Entering the match with a 3-1 record, the Scots were hoping to capitalize on their momentum against the Gray Wolves. Wooster did just that, capturing a 6-3 victory in large part due to the efforts of their first years.

In singles play, the two teams went back and forth. Though Max Stratford ’27 and Namit Misra ’26 fell in their flights, the Scots rebounded. Arnav Yadav ’27 won the No. 4 flight handily, securing 6-1 victories in both sets. Shivam Dewan ’24 emerged victorious after a close battle with the Gray Wolves’ Theo Casadei ’26, squeaking by with 7-5 wins in each set.

With the teams tied at 2-2, Anthony VanOyen ’27 faced a challenging task against Lourdes’ Joshua Parish ’26 in the No. 2 flight. In the first set the competitors each won six matches, forcing a seven-point tiebreaker. VanOyen rose to the task, racing to a 7-1 victory in the tiebreaker and winning the first set. Riding the wave of this clutch performance, the first-year easily won the second set 6-2.

In the No. 1 flight, it was up to Jay Dixit ’27 to solidify the Scots’ victory in the singles matches. Dixit started strong, defeating Lourdes’ Victor Dieltiens ’24 in the first set by a score of 6-4. However the Gray Wolves’ ace struck back, winning the second set by the same 6-4 outcome.

Going into the final, winner-take-all set, Dixit leaned on mental toughness. “I knew I had to play to my strengths and capitalize on any chances he would give me,” Dixit said. “Starting the third set, I was just telling myself that I want the win more than he does.” Using this mindset, Dixit improved on his performance in the first set, securing a 6-3 win in the set and a 4-2 Wooster advantage in the individual matches.

The Scots continued their impressive performances in the doubles matches. However, it was the Gray Wolves who stuck first. The Lourdes team of Luis Guzman ’26 and Jaden Coley ’27 secured an 8-5 victory against the Scots’ Stratford and Bennett Dickerson ’27. Despite this defeat, the Scots again demonstrated their perseverance in the upcoming sets.

In the No. 2 doubles flight, Dewan and Yadav showed their teamwork. The senior and first year players made several impressive plays, enough to defeat Lourdes’ Casadei and Alvaro Trillo-Sanchez ’25 by a score of 8-5. Finally, Dixit and VanOyen secured an 8-5 victory against Dieltiens and Parish. 

“Anthony and I compliment each other on the court, we have effective tactics and formations that always surprise our opponents,” Dixit said, highlighting the importance of working in concert with his partner. With Dixit and VanOyen’s win, the Scots secured a 6-3 team victory.

Most notably for the Scots, the team’s first-year players — especially Yadav, VanOyen and Dixit — have contributed greatly to their success. This development bodes extremely well for the future of Wooster men’s tennis. As for this season, the Scots are off to a hot start and intend to continue winning. 

“I can already feel a collective mindset to win from all the guys,” Dixit said. “Especially with coach Amy’s guidance, the team is extremely motivated.”

Wooster will look to improve their record to 5-1 when they take on Ohio Northern University in Lexington, Ohio on Saturday, Feb. 24.