By Jacob Jimmerson
Staff reporter

The tennis Moundbuilders opened their season against the No. 4 junior college team in the country, Cowley Community College. It was not an easy day for the Builders as they failed to win a match, but the players and coaches felt that they learned a lot from today.

Jason Speegle, head coach, felt that there were some weaknesses that showed up today. Speegle said, “I felt that it’s early in the season and that showed. We are still trying to figure out some of the line-ups. And Cowley is a top five team in the country.”

Speegle felt the strengths of his team showed as well. Speegle said, “This team loves to get out there and compete. They do a great job of supporting each other. No one can ever question this team’s effort out there.”

Coach Speegle has been working hard on conditioning his team as well. Speegle said, “We have been having morning practices at 6 a.m. With about thirty minutes of conditioning in those practices. We have also been having a lot of challenge matches to figure out who is going to be where, as well as simulate a real game experience.”

There were a few things that Speegle was surprised about as well. Speegle said, “Jordan Thompkins and Logan Bevis played great in their doubles match. They were at the one seed and really competed with Cowley. They fell short, but I loved the effort that they gave.”

There were only a couple things that disappointed Speegle to open this season. Speegle said, “The only thing that I was disappointed with was the fact that the whole team could not play today. We were missing two of our new players, because of NAIA eligibility issues.”

Speegle has a few goals for this team moving forward into the year as well. “I just want this team to get better every day. I believe that we can climb up in the conference standings as well. Just all in all, I want us to be better,” Speegle said.

Speegle had a few things to say about the new members to the team. Speegle said, “The new members are great. The transfers are bringing a lot of experience. And the freshmen are ready to go as well. They should all be able to contribute to the team.”

Speegle believes there is going to competition to see who competes on game days. Speegle said, “There are probably going to be many different line-ups. We have five new players. As well as six returning players, it is going to be a competition every single day. I think that the new players will play a big role as well.”

Speegle has a few goals for moving forward. Speegle said, “We need to continue to get better every day. We need to be more consistent as well. I feel like our team chemistry is going to get a lot better as it goes on as well.”

Michael Bond, senior, had some insight on the day as well. The weather is normally a factor at all sporting events. Bond said, “The weather was not really a factor today. If anything it helped. It was cool and really just a dream day.”

Bond thought there were a few things that worked well for his game today. Bond said, “I felt my serves were good. I really enjoyed hearing all the cheering from my teammates as well. That definitely helped through the hard parts of the match.”

Bond thought there were a few things that didn’t go so well for him. Bond said, “My neck game was not very good. I felt that I need to improve on that, because you have to be able to last in the volley game.”

Bond felt that there are some things he needs to work on going forward. Bond said, “I want to get in better shape. I also want to get a little bit faster. And I feel that I can always be more positive on the court and set a good example for my teammates.”

Bond has a favorite professional player as well. Bond said, “Roger Federer is definitely my favorite player. He is just a class act and never shows too much emotion. I really try to model myself and my game off the way that he plays the game.”

Hollace Dillon, junior, had a few things to say as well. He felt that there were something’s that he did well. Dillon said, “My ground strokes were solid today. And my back hand is finally getting better as well. I was getting into the points and am improving every day.”

Dillon also feels that this team is going to improve off of last year’s team. Dillon said, “We only lost one guy off of last year’s team. And we brought in two transfers and should make a big jump off of last year’s team.”

Dillon is looking forward to this season moving forward. Dillon said, “I am excited to keep growing individually and as a team. Chemistry is going to be a big thing as well. We just need to work towards being a Builder.”

Jacob Jimmerson is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email him at Jacob.jimmerson@sckans.edu