Men’s tennis rocks Rockhurst 6-1 for third straight win


Kyle Manthe

Freshman Noah Neideck (left) and senior Raul-Alin Dicu fist bump after a point March 29, 2022. Neideck and Dicu lost their No. 2 doubles match 6-3.

It was a windy day at the Washburn Tennis Complex for a ranked men’s match between No. 11 Washburn and No. 28 Rockhurst.

“I thought our kids did a really good job of adjusting to the conditions, it was really, really tough out there today,” said head coach Kirby Ronning. “For our guys to just continue taking care of business is really positive.”

The weather was no worry for the Ichabods, who claimed a 6-1 victory over the Hawks, giving Washburn three straight wins.

Six points is the most the Ichabods have picked up in a match since their 6-1 victory Feb. 26 over the University of Illinois Springfield. Each point is vital as the team aims to get back into the top-10 of the ITA rankings.

With the win, Washburn moved to 13-2 on the season as they got set for five straight matches on the road.

Doubles action began with a win for the Ichabods from the first position, with the No. 21 ranked duo of freshman Matthew Earle and sophomore Sebastian Pjontek taking a 6-2 win.

Behind them, sophomores Santiago Rendon and Miquel Perez picked up a spirited 6-4 win from the third position, making seven straight matches the pair has won and giving the team a 1-0 lead.

“It’s tough opponents and tough conditions, too much wind, but we managed to play and compete and that is what we are here for,” Rendon said.

Senior Raul-Alin Dicu and freshman Noah Neideck lost the No. 2 match 6-3, but the doubles point already belonged to the Ichabods as singles play began.

Freshman Tim Hammes, ranked No. 36 individually, had no trouble with his No. 3 match, winning in two sets with a combined score of 13-6 to take a 2-0 team lead.

Dicu, ranked No. 49 in singles, finished his No. 1 match next, needing three sets but coming away with a win, giving Washburn a commanding 3-0 lead.

The only point lost in the match came on in the No. 2 match with Perez falling in a 7-5 third set tiebreaker.

The Ichabods win was secured after sophomore Daniel Bird took a two-set victory, winning with scores of 6-3 and 6-1 from the fourth position. Pjontek finished his three-set match from the sixth position next, winning the third set 6-4 to close it out.

“I think that’s something our guys have done a really good job of all year. They aren’t looking to the guy to their left or right, they are just taking it upon themselves to take care of business on their court,” Ronning said.

Rendon had the quickest match of singles play, but was the last to finish, as he dropped only one set-point on his way to a swift two-set victory to complete the 6-1 scoring.

“Doubles with Micky [Miquel Perez] we are really confident, we have won seven straight so we are very happy with that,” Rendon said. “In singles, I lost the last match to SBU, so winning here today is very special for me.”

The win keeps Washburn at a perfect 6-0 at home in Topeka, and 3-0 on the outdoor courts.

“A lot of these kids have been in college tennis for two, two and a half months and know what to expect in a lot of these matches,” Ronning said. “It’s just applying a lot of the stuff and they are starting to do a better job of that.”

The Ichabods will travel to Bolivar, Missouri to face Southern Arkansas University in a neutral-site match April 2.

Edited by: Simran Shrestha, Glorianna Noland