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Tigers to tennis semis

Hampden-Sydney College’s (H-SC) tennis team has experienced a remarkable turnaround this season, and the Tigers kept this momentum going into the postseason Tuesday with a big win in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament quarterfinals.

The fifth-seeded Tigers (12-6) won 5-0 against visiting No. 4 Randolph-Macon College (R-MC).

“It was great,” H-SC Head Tennis Coach Robert Bareford said. “We showed up, everybody was firing on all cylinders for sure, and you can’t complain with a 5-0 sweep.”

Freshmen Matthew Moody and Michael Moody won their No. 1 doubles match 8-1, and Matthew Moody won his singles match 6-0, 6-2.

Senior Trent Singleton and freshman Clark Cummings won the No. 2 doubles match 8-3, and freshmen Levy Young and Grayson Burns bounced back from their loss Friday to R-MC to win No. 3 doubles 8-3 Tuesday.

Young clinched the Tigers’ team win Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-1 victory in singles play.

Hampden-Sydney’s 12-6 overall record represents impressive development in the program after the Tigers went 2-15 the past two seasons, which were the first two under Bareford’s leadership.

“Times six for the win column there, but very excited about that,” Bareford said. “There (were) a couple matches we wish we had back, a couple close losses that actually were decided by maybe one point, two points. But at the same time, I’m very excited and proud of my guys and the program and kind of how we’ve turned it around.”

The task awaiting H-SC in the ODAC Tournament semifinals Saturday in Ashland will be formidable. The Tigers must take on top-seeded Washington and Lee University, the perennial ODAC powerhouse.

Against conference opponents, the Generals went undefeated as a team and in singles play, dropping only two doubles matches.

In its regular season match against the Generals on March 23, H-SC fell 8-1.

“The (Moody) twins got that No. 1 doubles win,” Bareford said. “But we’re a much better team now than we were then. That was early on, and we’ve gotten a lot better on all fronts, and it’s going to come down to doubles.”