Wetzel escapes, seals shutout
Somebody forgot to tell Martin Wetzel the newly ranked No. 23 Bulls had already secured the victory against Murray State.
With the Bulls up 6-0 Wednesday following Paco Antelo’s 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory vs. Freddy Sundsten at No. 2 singles, only Wetzel’s match with the Racers’ Nikola Aracic remained undecided.
Down 5-1 in the third set, Wetzel faced the unthinkable: a loss in singles competition. The sophomore has gone undefeated this spring in singles play, and was not ready for his string to end.
“It really helped having all the guys behind me, cheering for me on the sidelines,” Wetzel said. “Coach was a huge help as well. He kept me alive. When I was getting too passive, he told me to keep the pressure on the guy.”
Wetzel was referring to Bulls coach Don Barr, who sat right beside Wetzel after Antelo’s match was finished.
“He kept fighting for every point, even when he was down two breaks at 5-1.” Barr said. “He was fighting for the school and showed what it means to be a Bull.”
Wetzel overcame four match points and a 4-1 deficit in the tiebreaker to defeat Aracic 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).
Don’t be misled by Wetzel’s heroics – there were other Bulls who definitely showed up also.
Senior Dan McCain took care of Thiago Condim 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3, and did not seem to mind playing back-to-back matches.
“Match days are pretty easy for us,” McCain said. “Considering how hard Coach works us in practice.”
At No. 4 Uli Kiendl defeated Alex Hoyem 6-1, 6-0. Jorge Escallon defeated Zakaria Bhri 6-2, 6-1 at No. 5, and Adrian Meier, subbing for Nadim Naser, beat Mike Schmidbauer 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6.
“It was good that we got tested,” Barr said. “Paco and Martin had a tough time, probably because they didn’t play yesterday and they weren’t as sharp early on.”
Sharp or not, don’t tell Martin Wetzel the match is over until it is finally over.