Karina Michelle Davila
The Southwestern Men’s and Women’s tennis teams look to go further and accomplish more goals than last season all while building unity and succeeding in the classroom.
The men went 9-7, finishing fourth in the conference and the women went 13-5 finishing second last season. Both teams lost in the semi-finals but plan on making a comeback and returning to the playoffs.
“I expect for us to work hard on the court and in the classroom. I really try to push that success in the classroom is their number one priority. I expect for us to be a team, in that we support each other in whatever we do and cheer each other on and I expect all of our players to be better at the end of the season than they are right now,” said Jason Speegle, head coach.
This year’s team is greater in numbers than in the past, which can create some challenges for the players.
“It’s always a challenge when you have a bigger team, you have to make sure that everybody is getting the individual attention from coaches that they need. With 21 players they all have different needs in order to continue to improve their game,” said Speegle.
Even though a bigger group to coach may seem like a challenge, some players feel that a larger group is a much more pleasant experience.
“I came from a high school with a smaller team where it was every girl for themselves and having girls to lean on is what I appreciate,” Morgan Hughes, sophomore.
On the note of high school ball, the team has recruited freshman who are very eager to begin playing at the college level.
“It feels good to be playing at the college level, it’s a lot different from high school and I think it will be a good experience. The hardest part is staying on top of grades, staying healthy and being good at tennis all while trying to figure out the college lifestyle” Blake Cherry, athletic training freshman.
Regardless of their challenges both men’s and women’s teams are looking to improve their game, they have set team and individual goals for this season and are working at accomplishing them.
“We expect to make it to the playoffs, which is a realistic expectation but we have to play well in order to do that,” Speegle said.
Last year the women’s team took second in the conference and this year they want to take first place. The men’s team wants to get top four in the conference in order to make it to the playoffs.
Apart from their desire to win the team really has bonded together and shown great work ethic.
“We are very hard workers, nobody takes a day off. I can say that we have a lot of heart out there on the court and we may not be the best team out there but we will always do our best to win,” Brian Vancuren, business sophomore.
The women’s team will play at 1:00 pm on Sept. 1 in Winfield against Texas Wesleyan University. The men’s team will play on Sept 11 in Winfield for the Southwestern/Cowley Tournament.
Karina Davila is a freshman majoring in communications. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org