The men’s tennis team started their spring season this weekend, earning two victories over Wabash College and Monmouth College on Saturday at the Quad City Tennis Club.
The Vikings won 5-4 over Wabash and 8-1 over Monmouth, although losing to sixth ranked University of Chicago on Sunday.
Some of the best performing players during the two victories were sophomore Samuel Totten, who won a three-set match to give the Vikings the 5-4 lead.
Other key players were senior and captain Austin Schoeck, who won his double with fellow senior Patrick Lenz.
Going into the meet, Schoeck said the team was ready and enthusiastic about getting their season started.
“We’re all pretty excited and pumped up to play someone other than our teammates,” Schoeck said.
The Viking’s enthusiasm for the start of their season came a bit earlier as they had their first meet a week earlier than last year.
Although they had one week less to play, head coach Jon Miedema was confident the week less of practice wouldn’t be detrimental to the team.
“I don’t think that (the week less of practice) will be the reason for any of the outcomes,” Miedema said.“I think they will be ready to go this weekend or next weekend, but it is something where we have younger guys that we haven’t had as much time to go over doubles and partnerships and working through some of that.”
While the Vikings have more underclassmen playing due to some upperclassmen injuries and study abroad programs, Miedema is optimistic about the talents of the underclassmen and their growth during this meet and beyond.
“We have a lot of talented young players and veterans too,” Miedema said. “My bigger thing is how they are competing this weekend. It’s one thing practicing against your teammates, but can you have the strong mentality, can you hit the same aggressive shots that you are hitting in practice against an opponent?”
Beyond this meet, the team has certain goals they want to hit by the end of the season. According to Miedema, the team agreed to have a cumulative team GPA of 3.5, a target of 20+ wins, winning the CCIW conference and advancing to the NCAA Division III tournament.
While the team has large goals, some players have some smaller ones, such as Schoeck, whose goal is to return to his tennis prime.
“First and foremost (my goal is), just to get healthy and back to how I was playing before my injury because I was probably playing my best college tennis during this fall,” Schoeck said. “I’d say my main goal is just the team goal of winning conference. I really want to put that plaque up in Carver.”
The Vikings will play Cornell College this Saturday at 9 a.m.