On Friday, the No. 15 University of Redlands men's tennis team embarked upon a weekend schedule against two of the nation's top-three teams, beginning with the third-ranked Williams College (MA) Ephs. The Bulldogs battled against the East-Coast rivals on Verdieck Courts but came up just short of the impressive upset in a 4-5 decision.
In doubles, Williams harbored a 2-1 lead in three very tight matches. The Maroon and Gray looked to the No. 2 tandem of juniors Patrick Lipscomb (Irvine, CA) and Gram Leahy (Portland, OR) to nab an 8-5 victory. However, the Ephs prevailed in the other two matches by a score of 8-6, with one break being the difference.
In singles, the Bulldogs fought to overcome the small deficit with the efficient and impressive contributions of junior Nick Cummins (Rancho Mirage, CA) and Lipscomb at the top of their lineup. Cummins fired off a dominating 6-2, 6-1 performance at No. 2, before Lipscomb recorded a 6-3, 6-3 triumph at the No. 1 slot for Redlands' 3-2 advantage.
After Williams tied it up with a positive result at No. 5, the Maroon and Gray regained the edge with freshman Parker Wilson's (Carlsbad, CA) 6-4, 6-0 victory at No.4.
Leading 4-3, Redlands needed just one of the remaining matches to pull out the huge upset over the third-ranked opponent.
However, the Bulldogs struggled to close out either three-setter, as the Ephs forced the tie with a win at No. 6, before stealing the overall victory with a 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 showing at No. 3.
Redlands (7-8, 1-0 SCIAC) looks to quickly rebound when it takes on top-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in Saturday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match at 10 a.m. on Verdieck Courts.