Last weekend may have marked the unfortunate end of a 41-game winning streak for U of T’s Jordan Bohnen, but the top ranked singles player was still all smiles as he and fellow tennis teammates celebrated the successful defence of their OUA crown.
Bohnen, who took home the silver medal in a hard-fought singles match, says the team worked hard for the title, battling through the loss of key players in early season action and the overconfidence that comes with being the defending champs.
“At the beginning of the year a lot of us were cocky since we won the gold [in 2000],” said Bohnen. “A lot of us just expected it to happen again.”
The wake-up call came at the first tournament of the year where the Blues lost to Western, who had reigned over OUA tennis for much of the 1990s. With U of T’s second straight win, it appears a new dynasty has been crowned.
“We have a pretty young team and we can grow over the next few years together,” said Bohnen. “I see no reason why we can’t three-peat.”
The success through the latter stages of the season is owed as much to the depth of the unit as it is to the talent level near the top. In the team championships the number one doubles pair of Bohnen and first year standout Mark Renneson lost their first match of the year. The other two doubles pairs picked them up and the team didn’t miss a beat in setting the stage for its singles players to win at least half of the six remaining matches for the championship.
“The team did a really good job of coming together and focusing when it really had to be done,” said Renneson. “We had some easier matches that we were able to breeze through. When we had some tough matches the team pulled together and got down to business.”
Unfortunately Renneson and Bohnen ended the year on a slightly flat note, having to play teammates Nick Mooksang and Maury Berco for bronze after both pairs had lost their semifinal contests.
That said, the fact U of T teams were squaring off against one another that late in the game still demonstrated the depth of talent which Bohnen credits much of their success to.
“Both this year and last year we couldn’t have done it without everyone on the team contributing all the way down the lineup,” he said.