DePaul men’s tennis records senior win against big win Xavier

Donald Crocker

Vito Tonejc, DePaul tennis junior, swinging the ball into a win over Butler on April 11.

The seniors shined bright on Senior Day, helping DePaul finish the regular season with a bang as the men’s tennis team defeated Xavier – one of three undefeated teams in conference play – 6-1. The win brings DePaul to a 5-0 conference record and a 10-12 record overall.

DePaul came out the gate swinging, winning two of his three double matches. Vito Tonejc and Luke Wassanar lost their doubles set 6-2, but the Wins by the pairs Tripp Tuff / Marino Jakic (6-3) and Jona Gitschel / Leon Huck (6-2) put DePaul over the edge to start the match.

Transitioning to single matches, the team did not let up, annihilating everything Xavier swung at them. The seniors led the way, with Wassenar winning his set 4-6, 6-3 and 6-1, giving DePaul their first points. Tuff followed suit, winning his singles match 6-4 and 6-3. Tonejc put the icing on the cake, winning his set 6-3, 6-7 (9-11) and 6-4 to secure the victory. The team is now heading to the conference tournament next week with a top seed in South Carolina to repeat the potential champions.

“[Xavier] us for a big win, ”head coach Matt Brothers said. “Xavier has been playing well and they are undefeated, so we weren’t blowing them off by any means. It was a fantastic win for Vito, Trip and Luke. All the seniors come with wins and secure the team win. It doesn’t get much better than that. ”

Wassenar played his final match at home, coming to an end. He wanted to make a good note on his career at home.

“The match had a certain energy,” Wassenar said. “We didn’t want to win because we wanted to, but because it was senior day, our last match at home. I was a little nervous, but I am happy that all the guys pulled it out. ”

For Tonejc, playing the idea of ​​his final match at home is not sunk yet. But he did come into the match ready so have some fun in his last go around.

“There was always a little bit more pressure on this match because we seniors wanted to win, especially on senior day,” Tonejc said. “But I also remembered that the match was my last regular season college match so I tried to have some fun, hit some balls that I wouldn’t normally have, loosen my arm. I saw Wassenar and Tuff win their matches so I knew I had to win mine. ”

Wassenar and Tonejc believe that their caretakers of the defining moment were the ultimate goal of the conference championship last season. Although Tuff agrees with their sentiments, he may have an additional defining moment that changed his life for later achievements.

“When I found out I had two extra years of eligibility (one redshirt and one additional year due to Covid), I knew I had to make a change and how I approached the game,” Tuff said. “It was a second chance. At one point I thought my career was over with Covid but all of a sudden I had two extra years. I didn’t want to go to waste. ”

With the final three seniors of the original “Band of Brothers” signing off for the final time at home, they are now focusing their attention on the last conference round of their collegiate careers. They would love to go out with a bang and win the championship, but how they highlighted it would be the experience of getting on the team for the younger guys.

“It would be great for the young guys,” Tonejc said. “I think the fact is that we are older than them because they know what the discipline is. But they are great players and they helped us. ”

Due to the senior’s championship experience last season, the Brothers highlighted the importance of a veteran leadership team to their success as a team.

“[The seniors’] The experience is going to be vital for us, ”Brothers said. “These young guys haven’t experienced this yet, but their work ethic and leadership is what’s going to give us another great opportunity to bring home another championship. It will be exciting. ”

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