Tufts men’s tennis continued its hot start to the spring season. The No. 8 team picked up wins over NESCAC rivals Trinity College and Connecticut College to extend its win streak to seven and improve its overall record to 8–1 and 3–1 in the NESCAC.
Tufts opened the weekend with a trip to Hartford to take on Trinity. The Jumbos won convincingly with a final score of 8–1. Despite having to make some last-minute adjustments due to some team members being unavailable due to COVID-19, the Jumbos dominated throughout, dropping only one doubles match.
“We had some guys out for [COVID-19], which threw a wrench in our typical lineup, but guys stepped in and performed really well under pressure,” senior Jack Moldenhauer said.
Trinity picked up their lone victory of the day in No. 1 doubles as seniors Ross DeRose and Dylan Powell defeated the Tufts duo of senior Niko Hereford and first-year Derin Acaroglu by a score of 8–6. Tufts swept the remaining matches, headlined by an 8–2 doubles win by sophomore Corey Marley and junior Josh Belandres.
Tufts swept all six singles matches, which included a 6–1, 6–1 victory from Moldenhauer over Jack Ginter in the No. 4 spot and a 6–1, 6–0 win by first-year Lachie Macintosh over Kartik Edodula.
Due to the COVID-19-related lineup adjustments that Moldenhauer mentioned, Marley was thrust into a doubles matchup but attributed similar playing styles between him and Belandres to his ability to transition in seamlessly.
“Generally we’ve been trying to pair people who have similar strengths and weaknesses to each other,” Marley said.
On Sunday, Tufts visited Connecticut College and left with a resounding 9–0 win. Notable results included an 8–0 win in No. 3 doubles by Marley and senior Dylan Glickman over Jules Taylor-Kerman and Aaron Fleishman and 6–0, 6–1 singles wins by Acaroglu and Moldenhauer over Julian Tien and David Poudrier, respectively.
Moldenhauer and Hereford, former high school teammates, paired together in doubles for the first time in their collegiate careers on Sunday.
“It’s really special,” Moldenhauer said. “Niko … and I have been really close friends for a really long time. … He’s one of the reasons why I came to Tufts. … I know him so well. We have really great chemistry just because we’re such close friends.”
The Jumbos’ No. 8 national ranking and No. 3 regional ranking is the highest ranking achieved by Tufts under head coach Karl Gregor, according to Marley.
Playing in his first full collegiate season, Marley has noticed a difference in the chemistry within the team.
“There’s really great camaraderie within the team,” Marley said. “It’s nice that we’re only kind of at the halfway point now, and we still have a lot of ways to go.”