CULVER | Munster's Alex Wisniewski and Marty O'Shaughnessy knew they were going up against a No. 2 doubles team that had more talent than anyone they had seen this season.
Were they intimidated though? Hardly.
Although Munster's season was ended 5-0 at the hands of three time defending state champion Carmel at the Culver Academies 1 Semistate, the duo held their own against the Greyhounds' team of Zach Hennessey and Azad Koya.
After losing the first set 6-0, Wisniewski and O'Shaughnessy (17-4) clawed back in the second set before dropping it 6-4.
"I just think we adjusted to their game a little more," said O'Shaughnessy, a senior. "They're definitely higher-caliber players than what we're used to. After the first set, we were able to match up a little better with them. We cut down on the errors and started holding. Our confidence just rose."
Wisniewski, a junior, heard coach Steve Lopez said 'This is Marty's career right here. Let's not end his career right now, let's keep going.' during their second set when they were down 3-2. It was a little added pressure, but also pumped him up to play better and extend the set as long as the duo could possibly muster.
"That was the change over to when I was serving," Wisniewski said. "I tried to step up my serve a little bit and do everything for Marty, because that was his final match."
Lopez was impressed with Wisniewski and O'Shaughnessy's fight during the second set.
"They obviously kept going, and they were right there," Lopez said. "They almost got it to 5-all, and who knows what would have happened with that. You've got to love the fact that they weren't going to roll over."
Having drawn top-ranked Carmel (22-1) in the semistate the past three years now, Lopez said his team has become a bit desensitized about facing a Greyhounds that's become a dynasty in boys tennis.
The Mustangs scored points in all but one match, giving Carmel all it could muster despite losing five varsity players last season. Trey DeLuna gave Carmel's Radha Vishnubhotla a battle at No. 2 singles, losing 6-2, 6-1.
"The mental preparation for them, playing against the No. 1 team, is no different than when we played the No. 2 team in Park Tudor and the No. 4 team in Fort Wayne Canterbury," Lopez said. "Those things helped us. You had some scrappy play going on out there."
The Mustangs will lose only two varsity players to graduation in O'Shaughnessy and No. 1 singles player Colin Richter, so the future could be very bright for Munster (17-5).
"I think the program should be very excited for that," Lopez said. "I think it's hard not to be."