HU men’s and women’s tennis programs welcome eight incoming players this season, five of whom are international students. All of the men’s recruits originate from abroad, along with one cross-cultural addition to the Lady Foresters.
Fourth year men’s head coach Kreg Eckert believes the key to a successful season is all about acclamation of the new international student athletes.
“The goal is to get them acclimated in order to get them used to it,” Eckert said. “It’s a new country and a new school. It’s school first, socialization second, and tennis third.”
In addition to the international students, there are also new domestic players trying to acclimate to the program. Sophomore Kerrie Ecker is a walk-on to this season’s women’s team.
“There are challenges both ways,” Ecker said. “The freshman have to adjust to the college life, while as a walk-on, not having played competitively as recently is a bit of a challenge.”
Both teams are looking to solidfy their standings in the Crossroads League Conference in order to get a good seed for the tournament later on in the season. The conference includes ten teams, including main rivals Indiana Wesleyan University and Marian University.
“The most anticipated match of the season is when we play IWU and Marian,” Eckert said. “They are probably the two best teams this season.”
Bringing home wins against these two teams will help the teams accomplish their goals.
“Overall for our team, the goal is to finish in the top four of the conference,” Eckert said.
Last year, the men and women finished second and sixth in conference play, respectively.
“Our goals this season are to improve as a team and have fun,” Eckert said.