KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Ursinus College men's tennis team continued another strong start to its season on Tuesday, moving up a level to handle Division II Saint Anselm, 7-2, at Oak Street Park.
Senior Max Oberholtzer's extended dominance and more strong play from sophomore Connor DeFaber-Schumacher and freshman Mason Groff added up to give the Bears a 3-0 start for the sixth consecutive season.
Oberholtzer staked Ursinus to a fast start with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout of Eric Howes at number one singles; the senior has lost only three games total in his first three singles dual matches of the spring.
Groff followed with a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Adam Weinstein at second singles before the Hawks (0-7) got on the board with a three-set decision at number six.
DeFaber-Schumacher and senior Peter Shields each got the better of a first-set tiebreaker. DeFaber-Schumacher scored a 7-6 (5), 6-1 win against Kyle Harris at number five, and Shields notched a 7-6 (1), 6-2 result opposite Daniel Kmetz at number four.
Saint Anselm stayed alive with a three-set win at third singles, but DeFaber-Schumacher and freshman Matt Fontanese left no doubt with a clinching 8-0 sweep of Alex Pearson and Brian Kavanaugh at third doubles.
Oberholtzer and junior Paul Vecchio rolled past Howes and Harris, 8-2, at first doubles, and Groff and Shields outlasted Weinstein and Kmetz, 9-7, at number two.
DeFaber-Schumacher and Groff put together another impressive performance, each improving to 4-0 on the Florida trip.
With two more wins on his ledger, Shields moved into a tie for eighth in program history with 60 overall victories. Oberholtzer is now tied for fifth with 36 career singles wins.
The Bears take on King's (Pa.) and Ave Maria in a doubleheader on Wednesday. The match with King's gets underway at 11:30 a.m.
"Today was a really good performance by the guys," head coach Pete Smith said. "Whenever you step up to play a Division II team, you know they are going to have talent and they are going to have depth. St. Anselm certainly had both, and the team was equal to the challenge throughout the day. We actually came within a few points of securing a shutout, and while we didn't quite get it, what we did get was a quality win where we got contributions from all over the lineup.
"We have worked very hard to take back the doubles courts, where we slipped a notch or two last season. These guys have really committed to going back to the basics in doubles, playing hard-nosed tennis and being aggressive in attacking the net. It's been a very good start to this spring break trip, and I hope we can continue this level of play."