The Panthers’ men’s and women’s teams each defeated the Bulldogs 5-0 in a match that was shortened because of periodic showers and strong winds, putting a damper on Truman’s conference opener. A number of matches were cut short or left unfinished as bursts of rain caused multiple delays of 30 minutes or more.
The men’s team lost all three of its doubles matches to start the day. In the doubles matchup, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams were each bested 8-2, and the No. 3 doubles team of sophomores Paul Province and Austin Buck fell just short of victory against DU senior Trevor Bachus and sophomore Damien Minguez, 8-6.
Men’s singles did not go any better for the Bulldogs. No. 2 Province fell to Drury freshman Kay Bartmann 6-1, 6-2. Freshman Gavin Hatter found himself on the losing end as well, dropping both sets to Panthers sophomore Sebastien Amato 6-1, 6-0. The No. 1 matchup between junior Ryan Bunselmeyer and DU junior Maximilian Hepp ended unfinished, while the remaining matches weren’t played.
Bunselmeyer said he knew it was going to be a challenging afternoon, but despite the tough results, he said he was satisfied with how the team played. “It’s difficult to compete with schools like Drury who bring in five or six high-level international recruits for their team,” Bunselmeyer said. “That being said, I’m happy with how we performed against them.
Truman’s women’s side also had a tough day on the court. Drury won both the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles 8-1. In the second match, junior Lauren Jin and freshman Maura Dunn fell to DU senior Hadeil Ali and sophomore Larissa Karl 8-3. Drury rounded out the victory by winning the No. 1 and No. 3 singles matches, as Ali defeated Jin 7-5, 6-1. Panthers senior Samanta Zambrano beat Bulldog sophomore Lindsey Schlichting 6-3, 6-0. The No. 2, 4, 5 and 6 matches all ended with unfinished results.
“Every loss is a learning opportunity,” Bunselmeyer said. “We need to prepare ourselves to play at a higher level.”
Both teams will be in action again next weekend as they try to climb the GVLC ranks. The Bulldogs will square off at home against the University of Missouri-St. Louis 11 a.m. Saturday at home.
“We knew Drury was going to be a tough team to beat,” Jin said. “We can’t blame the weather after all the hard work we put in all week, so we’ll just have to come back and execute better at our next match.”