GOSHEN, Ind. – For the first time since 2003, the Goshen College men's tennis team was victorious over Taylor University, sneaking out a 5-4 win in Crossroads League play Thursday evening.
The last time the Maple Leafs defeated the Trojans prior to Thursday was a 6-3 victory back on September 2, 2003 during head coach Stan King's fifth season at the helm of the program.
"This was one out our better wins in recent years," the now 14th-year head coach said. "Taylor is usually one of the better teams in the conference and the win was especially nice since we came back from a 2-1 deficit in doubles and got the four singles matches necessary for a 5-4 team win."
The first doubles match to finish was at No. 1 where the Hungarian tandem of Csaba Laszlo and Balazs Pirot overcame a 5-4 gap to win the last four games and the match 8-5. After Taylor took the No. 2 pairing 8-3, they rallied for an 8-6 win in the final scored doubles match to take the 2-1 team lead.
In singles, Laszlo was able to fairly quickly tie the match back up with a solid 6-2, 6-4 win in the top singles spot. It was his second singles win of the year and 29th of his career in the No. 1 slot for the Maple Leafs.
The teams then traded wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 singles positions. Goshen's Thiago Amaral defeated Wes Nitzche - a senior player King noted that Goshen had never before defeated - 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5, but Daniel Buschert, stepping in for an ill Ryan Wengerd, fell 6-2, 6-2 at No. 6 singles to again tie the team score, this time at 3-3.
Pirot put the Leafs back in front with a hard-fought 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 2 singles to give Goshen the opportunity to close out the win with a victory in either of the two matches left on the court.
"Excitement reached a peak during Jon Kaasa's match at No. 3 singles," King explained. "Jon has not been able to play for about a week due to an injury, but his game was sharp today and he wasn't bothered too much by the injury. He played smart tennis, while winning 6-3, 7-5 and delivered the all-important fifth team point."
King continued, "His win brought a lot of emotion our of the hearts of his teammates and the GC fans. Jon's win was extra sweet since we weren't sure at the start of the match whether he would even be able to play."
The final match on the courts was a marathon. Krishnan Ganesan took the first set 6-3, but a 4-6 loss in the second forced a super tiebreaker, one that went more than double the number of regulation points it is built for. Eventually, Cameron Boehning outlasted Ganesan 16-14, but the team match had already gone to Goshen.
The Maple Leafs (2-1, 2-1 CL) will head to Huntington University to continue Crossroads League play on Saturday.
Goshen 5, Taylor 4
1. Laszlo/Pirot (G) def Young/Tilden 8-5
2. Nitzsche/Williams (T) def Ganesan/Buschert 8-3
3. Kenny Cassidy/Mike Reynolds (T) def Amaral/Ryan Wengerd 8-6
1. Csaba Laszlo (G) def Wes Young 6-1, 6-4
2. Balazs Pirot (G) def Luke Tilden 6-4, 6-3
3. Jon Kaasa (G) def Carlos Guarin 6-3, 7-5
4. Cameron Boehning (T) def Krishnan Ganesan 6-3, 4-6, 16-14
5. Thiago Amaral (G) def Wes Nitzsche 6-2, 6-3
6. Collin Williams (T) def Daniel Buschert 6-2, 6-2
Carter Perry/John Cecil (T) def Seth Krabill/Jackson Beck 8-2
Jon Erny (T) def Armando Nunez 8-1
Carter Perry (T) def Seth Krabill 8-3
John Cecil (T) def Corey Roth 8-2
Kerry Cassidy (T) def Jackson Beck 8-3