The Grinnell College men, already playing strong tennis during their spring break trip to Florida, continued that trend Wednesday.
Grinnell, ranked 15th in the Central Region of NCAA Division III, beat 11th-ranked Carthage College 6-3 in Orlando, Fla.
Grinnell’s biggest match victory was at No. 1 singles, as Elliott Czarnecki ’15 toppled the region’s 14th-ranked player, Jeff Lotz, by a 6-4, 6-3 score. Czarnecki was unranked entering the contest.
Carthage opened the match with wins in two doubles matches. Grinnell’s lone win was at No. 3, as Colin Johnson ’13 and Aaron Lapkin ’15 won 8-4.
Michael Cole ’12 posted a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 6 singles to tie things at 2-all, Charlie Wilhelm ’15 won 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5 to push Grinnell in front and then Czarnecki came up with his huge win.
After Carthage closed within 4-3, Ishan Bhadkamkar ’13 sealed the victory with a 7-5, 7-5 win at No. 4. Eric Ritter ’12 added a 6-3, 7-6 victory at the No. 2 spot for insurance.
Grinnell moved to 13-3 on the season, while Carthage dipped to 9-4.
“This was a great win for our team, being able to beat a highly-regarded program like Carthage which has a nice ranking in the Central Region,” said Grinnell coach Andy Hamilton. “I’m pleased Elliott came away with a key victory for us. We needed to figure out where we could find four singles points after falling behind 2-1 in doubles, and Elliott’s win at No. 1 aided our cause.
“We continue to play strong tennis at 4, 5 and 6, and Eric continued his fantastic spring break and is undefeated here so far,” Hamilton added. “We look forward to having a day off Thursday and then coming back Friday to hopefully finish a clean sweep for wins on the trip.”
The Pioneers play Pacific University on Friday.