The men’s tennis team has been using every opportunity throughout the season to better themselves and prepare for the upcoming CCIW conference tournament. After last year’s loss in the finals and this year’s ups and downs, they have emerged ready and more focused than ever.
One thing hurting the tennis team is their number one player ,Samuel Totten, being injured. Senior and captain Austin Schoeck believes the team has the opportunity to step up in Totten’s wake.
“Our number one has an injury, so everyone has had to step up,” Schoeck said. “Everyone has done what has been asked of them: competing well with good results.”
Schoeck said the season has gone pretty well, and the team has had some good conference wins to take them into the tournament.
“I think we’ll be successful,” said Schoeck. “Last year we barely lost in the conference championship. It’s a pretty tough conference–every team is good–but we have a pretty good young team. Should be a fun tournament.”
Although they have played some grueling matches, head coach Jon Miedema is making sure his team stays healthy.
“(The) biggest thing is us being healthy,” said Miedema. “We have the big picture in mind. If we’re healthy, we can beat anyone on any given day.”
One aspect of the team that has helped them is the new players that have stepped up.
“We started out 5-1 and began to work on our young players,” said Miedema. “Four of our top five were freshmen or sophomores.”
Miedema said that the losses have only made them stronger.
“We had great early results,” said Miedema. “After spring break, we played tough opponents, such as playing a Division I school, an NAIA school and came back with tough regional competition. The middle stretch hurt our confidence, but looking back, I think we’re better off for it, knowing now we can do anything. We are starting to play the tennis I want us to play.”
Despite being injuired, Totten continues to contribute to the team.
“Sam Totten leads in wins while also playing number one in singles,” said Miedema. “He’s a sophomore who has helped some of the younger guys work through confidence.”
Miedma is proud of his team.
“The guys have done a really good job,” said Miedema. “(This team is) one of the most enjoyable groups I’ve ever coached here. They are hardworking and despite lulls in the season, nobody quit on each other. They kept their heads up and kept working, which is what you need to do.”
The conference tournament will begin on May 5. The time and place has yet to be announced.