The No. St. Mary Gaels (5-14, 3-5 WCC) won the 56th Gonzaga University men’s tennis team (17-4, 6-2 West Coast Conference) on Saturday with Senior Day and a score of 4-1 with their last home game. .
The day began with GU’s Matthew Hollingworth and Arthus Bassetiere at Court One (doubles). St. Mary’s got a quick 1-0 lead after the first set but the Zags were able to bounce back and win the second set.
However, the Gaels won the next set, and in the fourth set they had a 30-0 lead, but the Zags fought and came back to win.
The back and fourth would continue as GU was able to tie the set 4-4 thanks to a great volley shot by Hollingworth.
Saint Mary’s and the Zags were tied and they would eventually take the lead as the Gaels were doing a good job hitting the alleys which was the first of Threw Off GU’s.
The match would go down to the wire as both teams were tied 6-6 and went to the tiebreaker set. It was a back and forth affair as both teams would have been 4-4 but the Zags were able to win it thanks to an alley shot from Bassetiere.
Court Two was the same court as GU’s Sasha Trkulja and Oliver Andersson. They were both tied at 1 set each, but the Zags took control as Trkulija hit an incredible volley to give GU the 2-1 lead.
GU then went on to win the next set and increase its lead to 3-1, but the Gaels won three straight sets and would take a 4-3 lead. The Zags were able to tie the match 5-5 but the Gaels would take a 6-5 lead as this match would be a nail-biter.
This match, like Court One’s matchup, would go into a tiebreaker set as both teams were again neck and neck as it was tied 6-6 but the match went to unfinished thanks to Court One’s victory.
On court three, GU’s Theo McDonald (who was honored on Senior Day) and Tom Hannon, unlike the other courts, set off the first two sets after 2-0. The Zags duo would take a 5-1 lead but like the theme today, the Gaels wouldn’t back down and they would eventually fight back and only set one down (5-4).
But luckily the Zags were able to close out a dominating 40-0 fashion and win the match 6-4.
After the doubles match, GU would take a 1-0 lead. As it was now on singles.
On Court Four Matthew Hollingworth would get his second win of the day as he dominated St. Mary’s, Caelan Potts. As he won the two sets with a score of 6-0 and 6-1 and the first one to finish the singles for the day and gave GU a 2-0 lead.
On Court One GU’s McDonald was the battling Saint Mary’s Boris Reckow as they were close to every score and were tied 2-2 in the first set. St. Mary’s Boris Reckow was the hardest cornerback in the ball as he made a tough shot as Theo put on a show.
But credit goes to McDonald’s hustle as he won his first set 6-4. He would win his next and final set of the day as an ace and would win 6-1 and give the Zags a 3-0 lead.
“We’ve got a new coach and he’s really revamped this program and all the guys are really on board with one another,” McDonald said. “It’s been great, I love it here. I love these guys. And I love the team. This is our best record and we had a tough schedule. So that’s just a testament to how hard work pays off. ”
On court two, Trkulja lost to Gael’s Mathis Moysan in two straight sets with a score of 6-4 and 6-2. As the Gaels got their first win and cut the lead 3-1.
On Court three Andersson was battling St Mary’s James Watt and won his first set with a score of 6-4 but Watt would win the second 6-4 and tie.
GU’s Arthus Bassetiere would close out the day with a score of 6-4 and 6-2 in the two sets he won. As GU would win 4-1.
After this win, GU not only went undefeated at home but had their best record and wins in program history.
“It’s been great,” said Men’s Tennis Head Coach DJ Gurule. “It’s an unbelievable group of people that are more important and more important to see. Success is really a testament to their hard work.”
GU will face the University of Portland Pilots in Portland, Oregon for their regular-season finale next Saturday.
Daniel Fortin is a staff writer. Follow him on Twitter: @Daniel_Fortin_.