MIDDLETOWN, CT. – The Wesleyan men’s tennis team dropped to 12th ranked Bowdoin Polar Bears in their first of two games against NESCAC competition this weekend. The Cardinals were defeated by Bowdoin 6-3 on their 2nd straight loss after starting the NESCAC game 2-0. The match was played indoors at Bacon Field House due to rain but it didn’t seem to affect the Cardinals early on as they won two of the three doubles games before winning five of the lost six singles games 6-3. The no. 12 Bowdoin Polar Bears improve to 8-1 (3-0 NESCAC) on the year while the No. 18 Wesleyan Cardinals down to 6-5 (2-3 NESCAC).
Wesleyan started hot, winning two of three doubles games to take an early lead. That included a hard-fought win in 1st place from Ben Mitchell ’24 and JT Bilski ’26, who managed to pull off an 8-7 win to give the Cardinals a 2-1 advantage going into the singles game. The Cardinals fought in a singles game, winning only one of the six games. They were competitive in most of them, with Max Lustgarten ’25 with her only win in a three-set bout 6-3 5-7 6-3 over Bowdoins Jack Flores in 5th place.
The cards looked good in doubles and took an early lead in the first doubles of the day. Harry Collomb ’26 and Chase Kasday In ’26 Reid defeated Staples and Flores jointly 8-4 in second place, but the Polar Bears came back with a win of their own in third place as Evan Fortier and Mark Kneiss bested Wesleyan’s Lustgarten and Tai McDonald ’26. Then came the deciding doubles game in first place, where Bilski and Mitchell gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead and went into singles with an 8-7 win.
In singles, the Polar Bears took control, winning five of the six games en route to their 6-3 win over the Cardinals. Wesleyan’s lone singles win came from Lustgarten, who managed to outlast Flores in a three-set thriller that ended 6-3 5-7 6-3 to put Wesleyan on the board. Macdonald at No. 4 (5-7, 5-7), Collomb at No. 3 (6-7, 1-6) and Bilski at No. 1 (3-6, 4-6) all had competitive games but couldn’t get past it come the hump. The other two Cardinals competing in singles games were 2nd-ranked Mitchell (3-6, 1-6) and Harry Portnoy ’24 at No. 6 (0-6, 1-6) who were crushed by their competition.
Wesleyan will return to court on April 2ndnd where they will compete in another NESCAC home game, this time against No. 20 Colby, starting at 10:00am.