In an epic battle on Verdieck Courts, the No. 19 University of Redlands men's tennis team stepped up to nab an exciting 5-4 victory over the No. 35 Wesleyan University (CT) Cardinals in Wednesday's non-conference match. In the Cardinals' first match of the spring, the Bulldogs faced a ferocious group of competitors but the edge went to the home team, as senior Gram Leahy (Portland, OR) pulled out a three-set triumph to seal the deal at No. 6 singles.
The Maroon and Gray took care of business in the doubles matches to earn an early 3-0 lead. The senior tandem of Patrick Lipscomb (Irvine, CA) and Nick Cummins (Rancho Mirage, CA) set the tone with an 8-3 showing at the top slot. Sophomore Jake Ly (Torrance, CA) and freshman Joey Dulle (St. Louis, MO) continued the trend with their 8-4 performance at No. 3, before Leahy and senior Ted Burchett (Gold River, CA) secured the sweep with an 8-4 showing at the No. 2 slot.
Although the Cardinals pulled one back with a win at No. 4, Lipscomb impressed with his quality triumph at the top slot, 6-2, 7-6(2), to put the Bulldogs out front by a score of 4-1.
However, all four remaining matches went the distance in three sets, with Wesleyan rallying to win at Nos. 2, 3, and 5 to tie up the overall score at four.
With the match on his racket, Leahy overcame a tough tiebreaker loss to eventually capture the fifth and deciding point in an exciting finish at No. 6 by scores of 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-2.
Redlands (8-3) looks forward to hosting USTA Campus Kids' Day on Saturday, March 14, when it squares off against Sewanee (TN) at 11 a.m. on Verdieck Courts.