Elk RIver, Minn. / Elk River
The St. Thomas men's tennis team enjoyed a successful MIAC season debut over the weekend with a convincing 7-2 victory over Macalester. Leading the way in the Tommies' first conference win of 2013 was senior Brendan O'Connell (Elk River, Minn.). O'Connell, playing in UST's top singles spot and on the No. 2 doubles team, delivered wins in both his matches to remain undefeated thus far in both this season. For his performance, O'Connell was named the MIAC Men's Tennis Athlete-of-the-Week.
O'Connell's big performance started with a thriller at No. 1 singles against Macalester's Brian Utz. The two split the first two sets with Utz taking the first, 7-5, and O'Connell rallying for a 7-4 win in the second. The St. Thomas senior completed the comeback win, taking the tiebreaker 10-6. O'Connell's win at No. 2 doubles was a little less dramatic, as he cruised to an 8-3 victory to help the Tommies start out conference play on the right foot. This season, O'Connell is off to a 2-0 start in singles play and a 3-0 start in doubles competition.
Thanks to the win over the Scots, UST is now 3-0 overall and 1-0 in MIAC play. The Tommies are the conference's only remaining undefeated team overall and one of five without a conference loss to date. In fact, the Tommies have a combined score of 25-2 in their three wins. Saturday, UST will try to stay unbeaten with a 1:30 p.m. MIAC match against St. Olaf at 1:30 p.m. UST will then take a week off before embarking on its spring trip.