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Cornerstone Men's Tennis took to the courts today for a double header at Taylor University and Indiana Wesleyan University. Today was the last day of dual matches for the fall season, and CU hoped to add to their 2 match winning streak and finish the fall season strong. Cornerstone got off to a quick start against Taylor easily winning at #1 & #2 Doubles, and then dominating 5 of the 6 singles matches, winning all of them in straight sets. Getting singles wins today were Elijah Yi, Chris Reed, John Andrew, Andrew Son, and Alex Tarnow.
Cornerstone then made the short trip for a matchup against Crossroads League Co-Champion Indiana Wesleyan. IWU took the early lead, winning at #3 Doubles. CU evened the match when Elijah Yi & Austin Hunt defeated ITA Midwest Regional Finalists Kyle Johnson & Brandon Dubuque 8-4 at #1 Doubles. The all-important second doubles point was hotly contested at #2 Doubles, where Chris Reed & Andrew Son ultimately prevalied in a lengthy and dramatic 8-6 tie-breaker to win the match 9-8. Cornerstone headed into singles energized by the success in doubles and started strong, winning first sets on 4 of the 6 courts. IWU evened the match when Kyle Johnson defeated Elijah Yi at #1 Singles and took the lead when Gavin Smith defeated Austin Hunt at #3 Singles. Chris Reed then evened the match, defeating Brandon Dubuque at #2 Singles. With the team match tied at 3-3, IWU won the second sets on the 3 remaining courts, meaning the match would come down to the third sets at 4, 5, & 6 singles. All 3 Cornerstone players were fighting serious fatigue, playing in thrid sets in their fourth match of the day, but were reminded of all conditioning that went into preparing for this moment. John Andrew struck first, winning his third set 6-3 at #4 Singles. Left on the court were Andrew Son and Alex Tarnow, who were both engaged in hotly contested matches. Tarnow then clinched the match for Cornerstone, breaking late to win 6-3 in the third. Andrew Son was serving for his match at 5-2 in the third set, had 2 match points in the game, but was broken. That set went all the way to a tie-breaker, where both players had match points, but Son ultimately prevailed 9-7, securing the 6-3 win for Cornerstone.
Said Coach Erickson on today's action: "This was a great day for us, and I couldn't be more proud of this team. Not only did we get 2 wins and extend our winning streak to 4, but I was proud of both the way that we played and of the way that we handled ourselves. We have shown serious growth both in our tennis and in our maturity just in the last 2 weeks, and that makes me more happy than anything else. Of course, we are especially happy to beat Indiana Wesleyan, because they won their conference regular season and are a very good team. We have a lot of respect for their program, so this was a nice win for us. Additionally, this was the perfect way for us to end our fall dual match season. Hopefully we can use this momentum as we head into the offseason to fuel our desire to continue to work hard on our conditioning, which certainly paid off today."
Up next for Cornerstone is the GVSU Invitational tournament on October 4-5. Cornerstone is finished with dual matches for the fall, with the next one coming February 8 against Grand Valley State University.