With less than a month to go before the Big East Championships, men’s tennis is using lessons from a split with Midland and Drake to push through the regular season.
Against Midland on Friday, the Bluejays swept with a 7-0 win.
“We did what we needed to do against them. We were clearly the better team, and just had to step up and play really well,” coach Tom Lilly said.
After earning a quick doubles point with wins at all three spots, the Jays followed with straight set wins in each singles match.
Heading into Saturday, the momentum didn’t stick as Creighton dropped a 5-2 decision to Drake.
The day started with a victory as two doubles teams won to seal the doubles point.
Senior Jose Oscar Diaz and freshman Matthew Lanahan earned a win over Matija Matic and Markus Bolin 6-4 at flight two doubles and senior Mac Mease and freshman Shin Inoue earned a 7-6 victory over Evan Fragistas and Reid Jarvis at the third spot.
“We had to come through with some pretty clutch play at time and I thought our players played without fear in the doubles to take that doubles point,” Lilly said. “We were hoping that was gonna carry us on in singles but we kind of were a little flat in a few positions and Drake plays with a lot of energy and we didn’t match it in singles."
Despite the loss, senior Joe Hoff picked up a singles win for the Bluejays as he beat Gabriel Sardo 7-5, 6-2.
His win followed a doubles loss at the top doubles spot with partner Stratton Brown.
Hoff said it was a challenge, but as an athlete he’s trained himself to be tough in those situations and move past a bad match.
“Forgetting about it and understanding the good shots you’ve been able to hit in matches prior and understanding bad sets happen once in a while and just be able to trust your game and move on and trust your game," Hoff said.
That mental strength is something Lilly says is important for everyone as play move outside and matches becomes longer.
“We’re gonna have to get outside and do some practicing,” Lilly said. “Points are longer, matches are longer, we’ll work on our mental game and be more focused and know that points will be a little more grinded out.”
The Jays now play Friday at Wichita State.