The Observer sat down with men’s tennis captain and junior Samuel Totten to discuss the team’s season and aspirations.
1. What are some team and personal goals you have for this season?
As a team I think our biggest goal is going to be to win conference. We’ve come very close the last two years. My freshman year we took second and last year we took third. Each time it’s come down to only a few matches, we’ve been very competitive and I think it will be the same story this year. I’m just trying to be ranked in the region in singles and in doubles. My partner and I got ranked towards the end of last season so we’re excited.
2. Who do you think will be your biggest competition this year?
The past few years our toughest two opponents have been Carthage and Wheaton. And then one other team that has been getting better is Millikin. In the past we’ve handled them well but they have a couple of good recruits coming in this year.
3. What is it like being a captain?
I definitely enjoy the responsibility and hopefully being able to positively influence all of my teammates. But I also just enjoy the personal relationships with all of my teammates and I don’t think being a captain will change any of that.
4. What is it like having a split season between the fall and spring?
We’ve got two tournaments in the fall so I view it as a good way to test the waters and see all the teams in the conference. For me the fall season is also a really good motivator because our off season hits in late September, so it’s a good spring board for the off season.
5. Do you personally have pre-competition rituals?
Before we get to the match I like to listen to music. I try to get very focused for our matches. And then when we get to the site we’re playing at, I take a long time to warm up, I’m very methodical. I use that warm up time to clear my brain and get ready.
6. What has been your favorite part of being on the Augustana tennis team so far?
Probably just the relationships that I’ve gotten to build with each of my teammates. And to be able to have a place to go at school where for two hours a day I just get away from all my studies and stuff and just go to practice and work hard with my teammates.
7. What is one thing you wish the Augie community knew about the men’s tennis team?
Just how much time and effort we put in, how much sacrifice that we go through as a students as athletes. Just being able to have that discipline day in and day out says a lot about the team.