The No. 16 University of Redlands men's tennis team pulled out an exciting 5-4 victory over the NAIA's 11th-ranked Point Loma Nazarene University Sea Lions in Saturday's non-conference match on Verdieck Courts. After nabbing an early lead with a pair of 8-5 decisions in doubles, the Bulldogs rallied back from a match down in singles to capture their first win of the season.
The No. 1 duo of senior Connor Hyde (Peterborough, NH) and sophomore Nick Cummins (Rancho Mirage, CA) initiated the scoring in doubles with their 8-5 performance. After PLNU answered back with an 8-5 showing of its own, the Bulldogs gained the upper hand with an 8-5 triumph by seniors Anish Nanda (Cerritos, CA) and John Brewer (Portland, OR) at No. 3.
Brewer kept things rolling with his impressive 6-0, 6-3 victory at the sixth spot in singles, before the Sea Lions responded with back-to-back, straight-set efforts at Nos. 4 and 5, tying the score at three apiece.
The momentum momentarily stayed with the visitors, who captured a hard-fought 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win at the No. 2 slot to take the lead.
Down 3-4, the Bulldogs had no room for error and needed both matches to pull out the comeback victory.
Sophomore Taylor Hunt (Seattle, WA) stepped up in a big way, fighting for a 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-3 outcome at No. 3.
With the team's fate on his racket, Hyde finished the positive rally by downing his opponent at the No. 1 position in an exciting third-set tiebreak, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(6).
Redlands (1-2) opens Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competition on Saturday, Feb. 23, when it hosts Caltech at 10 a.m. The Bulldogs also face Brandeis University (MA) in a 2 p.m. tilt on Verdieck Courts.