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Men’s tennis aims for CCIW title

The tennis team has its goals set as they’re going through their season. Although the CCIW Conference Tournament isn’t until May 4, that doesn’t stop the team from thinking about it.

“Our team goal is to win our conference,” said junior captain Eric Pohl. “That way, we’ll have an automatic bid for nationals.”

Although off to a rocky 5-7 start of the season, the team hopes to regroup and focus on winning in upcoming games.

Their first conference game will be against Elmhurst College at noon this Saturday. They will also be playing Knox College at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Elmhurst will be the first of many conference games for the 10 man Viking squad.

“I’m also excited about Millikin, Carthage and Wheaton because those will be highly competitive matches,” said junior captain Samuel Totten.

These next couple of games will hopefully give the team some great confidence to go into the conference tournament.

The team is definitely excited  and looking with some foresight towards  the end of the season. Looking at the conference tournament, Pohl said the team has to start building themselves up if they want to succeed.

“We have to go into the conference tournament knowing that we can compete with anybody there,” said Pohl. “Once there, we all need to be playing our best tennis.”

The captains both agreed upon the importance of confidence.

“As a team, our confidence will be the key to our success,” added Totten. “When our guys are confident, we can compete with anyone, and we can be a dangerous team.”

Along with confidence, the team has been putting their skills to the grindstone to be ready for each match.

“The team has been getting up for 6:15 a.m. practices and lifting,” said Pohl. “We have also gone on more team runs than in any other year I’ve been here.  I feel like we are in very good shape as a team.”

With hard training and confidence, the only thing the team needs to avoid is injuries, especially for such a small squad.

“We’ve had a couple of injuries, which lead to people missing from the lineup,” said Totten. “This team has great chemistry and everybody is a key contributor, so we’ll need everyone at the end of the season.”