Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana men’s tennis heads into CCIW plays

The Augustana men’s tennis team, coming off a 6-3 loss at Grinnell on Sunday, is now heading into the CCIW portion of its schedule.
The Vikings, who currently hold a record of 8-7, will start off conference play on the road this upcoming Saturday against Elmhurst.
Senior Sam Hotten is eager to get this section of the schedule started, and he hopes it will prepare Augie for a deep tournament run at the end of the season.
“Our biggest goal as a team is to win the conference tournament, so I hope we use this as time to prepare for that,” Hotten said. “If we win that, then we get an automatic bid into the NCAA national tournament, and I think our team has a really good opportunity to do it this year.”
It has been an up-and-down season for the Vikings so far. Although the team’s winning percentage is above .500, they have also struggled to string together multiple wins in a row.
Freshman, Caio DeRezende, would have liked to see more victories, but he is not discouraged by the results thus far.
“I think we are still trying to get to our full potential, but we are all determined and excited for what we know we can achieve,” DeRezende said. “We have lost some tough matches this year, but we are in a great shape to do well in the conference tournament, which is our main goal of the season.”
DeRezende, who was named CCIW Player of the Week on March 14, has been one of the top players on the Augie squad so far this season.
He is tied for first on the team in singles victories with a record of 12-7, and he has also compiled an 11-3 mark in doubles play.
However, as just a freshman, he believes he has plenty of room to grow moving forward.
“I struggle to keep myself focused and calm during the matches sometimes,” DeRezende said. “I often let outside issues influence my behavior inside the court, and that can be a big negative with how mental of a sport tennis is. I just need to  be more aggressive and have more control of the match.”
Totten will also play a large role in determining how the Vikings finish off the season.
The senior, who is 12-5 in single matches and 13-7 in doubles, is hoping to end his career on a strong note and help move the program in a positive direction.
“Besides winning the conference tournament, and as a leader on the team with a lot of young guys, I would just like to leave behind an example of what our team is about,” Totten said. “I personally want to go out with no regrets, knowing that I left everything I had out on the court. As a senior, I have tried to take nothing for granted, because I realistically won’t be able to play this sport again in a competitive team environment like this.”
Augustana’s match at Elmhurst will begin at 5:30 P.M. on Saturday, March 24.

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Augustana men’s tennis heads into CCIW plays