Bonnies Walk off the Court Vs. Men’s Tennis

With the women off last weekend, the Raider men’s tennis team had an eventful weekend, in which one opponent, St. Bonaventure, abandoned its match.

In their first match, the Raiders squared off against St. Bonaventure, a team that beat the Raiders last season. Many returning players were looking for some redemption, but what ensued during this match was quite unexpected.

With many Colgate students turning out to support the team, the Raiders had a great home court advantage. Although the Raiders lost the doubles point, the team used the energy from the crowd to jump off to a great start in singles.

After junior Chris Innes and first-year Martin MacIntyre easily triumphed at first and second singles, respectively, to give the Raiders the lead, the St. Bonaventure coach told his players to abandon their matches due to the rowdiness of the Colgate crowd.

Junior Marshall Wheeler was just about to serve for his match at fourth singles when this occurred; the Raiders at this point were in good position to win this match. Many of the Raiders players were extremely disappointed, as a match that could have been a victory became undecided.

“We had a boisterous crowd and the opposing coach felt the student body was inappropriate,” Head Coach Patrick Fisher said. “He decided to discontinue the match and it is a shame because we were up 2-1 in the match, ready to go up 3-1. We got off to a slow start in the match, but I am very happy with the resilience my players showed by playing so well in singles.”

Many players on the Raiders team were shocked by St. Bonaventure’s decision to abandon the match, as they felt that the fans were not being inappropriate in any way.

The match does not have any official decision as of yet, but if the current decision stands, the Raiders would be robbed of a victory.

Nonetheless, the Raiders were forced to forget about the St. Bonaventure match and prepare for Binghamton the next day. Last year, Binghamton defeated the Raiders on its home court, but with home advantage this season, the Raiders hoped that they could reverse that outcome.

The doubles point went to Binghamton, but not before Colgate had a chance to take it. With the Raiders winning second doubles and losing third doubles, the Raiders needed their first doubles team to come through in the clutch. Innes and MacIntyre had a chance to win the point for the Raiders, but some questionable calls helped the Binghamton squad win the match and the doubles point in a tiebreaker.

Emotions were running high during the singles matches, as some Colgate players questioned Binghamton’s sportsmanship and line calls. Despite that, Innes won his first singles match and MacIntyre followed him up with a victory at second singles.

Wheeler could not come out on top at fourth singles, evening up the match at two. Sophomore Tyler Deck also lost his match at fifth singles and moments later, Gallagher lost his match at third singles in a third-set tiebreaker, despite having a match point.

“We had match points at doubles and singles, which shows that we were two points away from winning the match,” Fisher said. “There was a lot of emotion on the courts and I feel you will get that whenever two teams are this equally matched. However, Binghamton showed its lack of sportsmanship and I am proud of my players for not getting involved in those negative activities.”

“Despite the unfortunate incidents this weekend, I felt as though we really held our own against two solid teams,” Wheeler said. “After losing to St. Bonaventure last year, it was nice to be well on our way to a victory. Also, we were able to hang in there with Binghamton all the way to the end, which is something we were unable to do last year. It was really a match that could have gone either way.”

The Raiders are showing that they can compete with high quality teams. Both matches could have been victories, but the team must forget about them and prepare for their first Patriot League match this weekend against Army.

The men also play St. John’s, while the women are at home against Albany. The women are a perfect 4-0 at home this season, and they hope to continue their winning streak this weekend. The season is nearing its midpoint and with Patriot League schedules about to start, both the men and women need to buckle down and play their best tennis of the season.