NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A pair of doubles victories and a singles win spotlighted Manchester University’s fall home and season opener Friday, Sept. 8.
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics standout Bethel College of Mishawaka, Ind., gained 8-1 men’s and 7-2 women’s dual decisions at the university’s outdoor courts. Coach Eric Christiansen’s men were led by the senior tandem of Garrett Bear (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Kyler Love (North Webster, Ind.) who claimed a white-knuckle back and forth affair against the Pilots’ Brian Shembarger and Chad VanDosen 9-8. Senior Katy Ashpole (Leesburg, Ind.) figured into both team points for the women. She threw a shutout at Bethel’s Chase Kieper with a double bagel win at number five singles and then joined fellow senior Katie Peden (North Manchester, Ind.) for a nip-and-tuck 8-6 triumph at number two doubles.
MU had other opportunities to close both gaps. Freshman Karly Eichenauer’s debut for the Black and Gold gave pause for a shiny horizon, as the North Manchester native took her opponent to a superbreaker at number four singles. Senior Erin Cordill (Zionsville, Ind.) narrowly missed knocking off the Pilots’ top singles’ player, falling in three sets. Freshman Isaac Miller (Goshen, Ind.) made an impressive start to his collegiate career for the men, pushing his opponent at number five to three sets.
The Spartans’ women’s squad breaks from competition until Saturday, Sept. 16. They travel to Mt. St. Joseph University of Ohio to begin Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action.