The Augustana men’s tennis team will take on CCIW conference teams during the CCIW Fall Tournament on Sept. 17 at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.
The fall tournament is an introduction for many first year players, just as it was for now junior and captain Sam Totten three years ago.
Totten has played tennis since he was five years old, but when he arrived at Augustana as a freshman he experienced tennis from a whole new prospective. When he played in his first CCIW fall tournament, Totten was astonished by the collegiate atmosphere.
“The sport is the same as it was in high school, but the environment is way different; the competition is so much higher,” Totten said.
The tournament will feature all CCIW teams except for Wheaton College, which hasn’t played in the tournament since its inception five years ago.
The tournament is something that head coach Jon Miedema is excited for as it’s a great opportunity for him to see how his players compete before the regional tournament later this month.
Miedema described this tournament as a chance for his players to “whet their appetite” and adjust to collegiate tennis.
“I want our young players to just get that initial experience to play not only good competition, but to play against competition we are going to see in April for the conference championship,” said Miedema.
Although the CCIW conference championship tournament isn’t until the end of their season in the spring, Miedema is excited to get an idea of future doubles pairings and see what kind of competitors the team possesses.
One doubles pairing that he knows will be strong in competition is the team’s two captains Totten and Eric Pohl. The two players come off of sophomore seasons where they were both recognized as All-Conference players, but Totten wasn’t satisfied with just being All-Conference one year.
“It was a great honor, but it motivates me to have more success. I have bigger goals to achieve such as being the MVP of the conference. Along with that, an NCAA tournament berth for both the team and individual is in my sights,” Totten said.
Miedema said the team will be together for four weeks in the fall before picking up practice again in January, where the team will begin preparations for their main season. Once the season starts, the team will practice at the Quad City Tennis Club before their regular season matches start.