Saturday brings what could almost be considered the kickoff of men’s and women’s tennis spring season. The team hasn’t played since the tournament in New Mexico on February 1, 2 and 3.
Baker University comes to Winfield at noon to take on both Builder men’s and women’s teams.
Melissa Roetzer, biology senior, is the women’s team captain. She said, “We plan to do pretty well this weekend. We haven’t ever played Baker, so we want to see how we match up.”
It’s been a month since the women have played. Their record coming out of the New Mexico tournament is 2-5.
“The weather has made it tough but we’ve done a good job of conditioning and staying in shape,” said Roetzer.
Looking farther ahead into the season Roetzer said, “We have a really strong team this year. I’m excited to see how we do in conference.”
On the men’s side of things, Max Manley, business administration junior, is captain. He said, “We haven’t ever played them before so we’re excited to play someone different.”
The men’s record is 1-6 after the tournament in New Mexico.
The team has been preparing in the off season by conditioning. Manley said, “The guys have been putting in more work in the weight room, more than past year. We’re doing things on our own to improve.”
Jason Speegle, head tennis coach, has set the expectations high for this season.
“I expect us to compete at a higher level than last season. I expect us to be in better shape, be more consistent and more competitive,” said Speegle.
In the offseason, the teams have done all sorts of preparing. Conditioning and playing against several high quality teams at their kickoff tournament are examples.
“We’ve worked on consistency and where to hit the ball to gain advantage. A few players have changed stroke technique,” said Speegle.
The team has set a season goal to get in the team tournament at the end of the year. The top 4 teams in the conference make it. Both men and women tied for it last year but both lost their tie breakers.
Individually, Speegle said he wants the players to get more consistent, hit more balls back than their opponent and win more matches.
Bailey VenJohn is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email her at email@example.com.