Two men’s tennis players advance past first round in tournament

The Biola men’s tennis team had two players advance past the first round in last weekend’s Ojai Tournament.

Erik Markus, Writer

On April 28 to 30, the Biola men’s tennis team traveled to Ojai, Calif., for the Ojai Tournament. This regional tournament pits the best players against each other so that they can crown a final champion.

For the first time ever, two Biola tennis players advanced past the first round of the tournament. Both sophomore David Mossman and junior Weston Leopold won their first matches. Mossman won his match against the top player from Sonoma State 6-3 and 6-4.

Leopold’s winning match against Concordia

Leopold won his first match against Concordia’s number two in a grueling battle. Concordia’s player was ranked No. 38 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, but Leopold hung in throughout the match.

During the match, Leopold won the first set, but lost the second. In the third set, Concordia rode the momentum from the second set, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. Leopold wouldn’t back down though, pushing the deficit to 6-4. Finally he continued fighting, pushing the match to a tiebreaker and ultimately winning the match.

During Leopold’s match, Mossman realized that he was in the second round of his match while Weston was still in his first.

Mossman said, “I was determined to make sure my second round went longer than his first.” He continued saying that when he knew it was 6-4, “I kept asking the fans the score, and when I heard cheers I knew it was 6 all, then when I heard cheers again, I knew it was 7-6, then when I heard cheers again I knew he had won.”

Season brought wins for Biola against top players

Although neither player could win their second round matches, the first round wins were great confident boosts as they move towards next season. Mossman and Leopold were put against the number two and number three from Fresno Pacific University. Both matches lasted long and Mossman’s matchup eventually went on to win the tournament.

Reflecting on the past season, both Mossman and Leopold called the season a success, as they were able to get more match experience and beat some of the top players.

Leopold said, “It felt like we had accomplished something. There is nothing like actually winning, its fulfilling to come away with the victory and to actually accomplish something.”

Across the team, players had key victories, especially Leopold, who fell into a funk mid season, but really felt great beating a player in the top 50.

Gaining experience for next season

Looking forward to the next season, Leopold mentioned that the team needs to hit the gym, because they are filled with tall, lanky players who need more bulk.

“I’m looking forward to some hard work, and hopefully it will all pay off in the season,” he said.

Both Mossman and Leopold added that they need more match experience, and Leopold said they needed to be stronger mentally, and more “match tough.” Being match tough would help them to stay competitive during challenging matches, which they consistently encounter in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Mossman’s goal for the offseason, is to, “stay healthy stay in shape and keep swinging the racket.”

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