By Julian Howell

Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s tennis teams returned to the court for the first time since late September when they ended the fall season at the ITA regionals in Indianapolis.

The men’s team fell 7-2 to the Maroons, with the two victories for the men’s team consisted of a victory in singles and doubles. In singles, Jackson O’Gorman-Bean defeated Sven Kranz 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (2-0).  The doubles tandem of Grant Veltman ’15 and Casey Cempre ’15 defeated Chicago’s David Liu and Deepak Sabada 8-4.

Jackson O’Gorman-Bean ‘16 was out of the country studying abroad in Aix-en Provence, France. However, he was able continue playing and watching the game he loves while he was there.

“Last semester when I was abroad in France, I joined a tennis club in Aix-en-Provence for the four months I was there. I was also able to play a little bit throughout the summer when I was working in the Loire Valley.”

Bean, who finished his sophomore season with the second most singles wins in a season with a 20-6 record in singles, which is tied for the second most in a season, was eager to start the spring season against No. 17

University of Chicago. He knew the team would present a challenge to the No. 26 Denison men’s tennis team.

“Our mindset going in, in my opinion, is different than in years past. Not only did we lose our #1 and 2 singles players to graduation last year, but Chicago brought in the most coveted freshman recruiting class for any D3 tennis program this year,” said Bean.

Chicago started four freshman in the singles lineup, featuring fall national small college champion Nicholas Chua starting at one singles. Chicago is currently ranked No. 17, but after wins over the No. 26 ranked Big Red and

No. 12 ranked Kenyon Lords this weekend, they will likely be ranked much higher than they are now.

Even with the loss, Bean is encouraged by the results, “I think, more than anything, this match is simply a gauge for the rest of the season; we don’t have our lineup set in stone yet, we are still working on doubles pairings.

This match showed us the areas in which we need to work harder to challenge for a spot at NCAA’s in May.”

On the other side, the No. 28 Big Red women’s tennis team fell to a tough No. 12 University of Chicago team 7-2. Meg Chiumento ‘16 who posted a 12-8 record in singles and garnered six victories in doubles as a sophomore,has impatiently waited to get back on the court.

“It’s early so this match is for experience. Of course we want to do the best we can against a very tough team, but our first priority is to play hard and get back into match play,” said Chiumento.

Like the men’s tennis team, the women’s team garnered their two victories in singles and doubles respectively.

The Big Red women had put a lot of work into their doubles play during the break and were encouraged by their win at the 3 doubles flight.

Heather Azbug ‘15 and Emily Holloway ’17 were able to garner a tight doubles victory against Jasmine Lee and Kelsey McGillis.

Rochell Issa ’18 defeated Tiffany Chen in three sets 0-6, 7-5, 7-5 to get the only singles win for the Big Red women 8-6.

After this tough loss, the Denison Big Red men’s tennis team turns their focus to the Mary Washington Invitational in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

The Big Red women’s tennis team will return to action in March to take on the Kalamazoo College Hornets in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Photo Courtesy of Owen Smith