JCU Tennis makes splash with first OAC win of the season


JCU Sports Information Department

Grant Sarnowski had a successful weekend for John Carroll as they took on rivals Mount Union.

Ashley McCall, Sports Editor

The John Carroll University Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams have faced many non-conference challenges this season but, on Sat., March 18, the squads took on a familiar opponent and rival school, the University of Mount Union. 

Both teams found victory with defining wins over the Purple Raiders. 

Men’s Tennis

The Men’s team won 8-1 over their Ohio Athletic Conference foe as many personal successes were had during the day. 

The Blue Streaks swept the doubles matches as Grant Sarnowski ‘24 and Anthony Markello ‘26 took No. 1 doubles, Logan Langovsky ‘24 and Nathan Palinkas ‘23 earned a victory in No. 2 doubles and Phillip Gorun ‘26 and Luis Wentz ‘25 rounded out the No. 3 doubles with a win. 

“I think the key to success for Anthony and I in our doubles match was just letting go of any nerves and playing loose and relaxed,” described Sarnowski. “We play much better when we really settle in and are strong mentally. Same goes for me in singles. The match was a little closer than I wanted it to be because of some mental lapses but, in the end, the coaching from Walter Oden and the energy my teammates provided were the catalysts for success.”

Sarnowski defeated his competitor for No. 2 singles while Langovsky and Markello added points in the No. 1 and No. 3 singles, respectively. 

“It feels great to beat Mount Union,” said Sarnowski. “JCU Tennis has dominated Mount for years and we always take joy in beating a school rival and representing JCU athletics in a positive way.”

Women’s Tennis

The Women’s team followed in the success of their counterpart with a 9-0 victory against the Purple Raiders. 

Mia Zivkovic ‘24 and Felicity Kolb ‘26 started it off strong for the Blue and Gold with a 8-6 victory for No. 1 doubles. The duos of Kaylyn Gimbel (graduate student) and Caroline Chandler ‘25 as well as Jaclyn Voss ‘23 and Emily Duckett ‘23 finalized their No. 2 and No. 3 doubles victories with scores of 8-4 and 8-1 respectively.

“I think the key to my success was consistency and perseverance,” explained Zivkovic. “There were frustrating moments in both of my matches but the ability to move on from bad points and unlucky situations allowed me to pull through in the end.”

Mia Zivkovic held strong in the No. 1 singles and doubles against the Purple Raiders. (JCU Sports Information Department)

Zivkovic took home a win in her singles match as the rest of her team closed out the shutout victory. 

“It feels great to get a sweep against Mount Union, especially since our schools are rivals,” said Zivkovic. “That makes winning even more satisfying. I am proud of our team’s performance and am happy that we won our first conference match of the season.”

The JCU Tennis teams will be back in action on Wed., Mar. 22 at the Short Family Tennis Center in University Heights, OH as they host Ashland University in the first home match of the season.