Celine Rongos, number-one doubles player, sends a serve across the net to an opponent. (Photo provided)
Celine Rongos, number-one doubles player, sends a serve across the net to an opponent.
(Photo provided)

The women’s tennis team topped Taylor, 7-2, Sept. 12, to capture their fifth straight win. The Foresters started their 2015 season with victories over Grace College, Cornerstone University, Anderson University and University of Saint Francis before defeating the Trojans to tally a 5-0 beginning record.

Returning to the team this season is number-one singles player Constanze Golz, a sophomore who finished her first season as a Forester undefeated on the singles circuit. She is joined by experienced juniors Celine Rongos, Morgan Bemisderfer and Kerrie Ecker. Sophomores Amanda Brothers and Erin Van Kampen also return, while four freshmen round out the roster.

Coach Roger Ferguson says the team is coming together to be a strong force.

“We have a strong core group of players that understand what it takes to compete in the NAIA,” Ferguson said. “They know what we are trying to accomplish as a team and they know how much hard work it takes to be successful.”

Among the squad’s win is a 9-0 shutout against Cornerstone. The Foresters captured the road win while giving up just five games to the Golden Eagles.

The Foresters finished the 2014 season with a 9-11 record and are encouraged by the successful 2015 start.

“A 5-0 start to the season is exactly what we have been working to accomplish,” Ferguson said.

Rongos said she and her teammates are particularly focused on their performance against conference opponents.

“Our conference is pretty competitive,” Rongos said, “but I think our team is going to do very well this year in conference if we continue to stay focused and work hard.”

HU has already registered just as many conference victories as they did a season before, and as of Sept. 14, five conference matches remain unplayed. Ferguson hopes his team will finish in one of the top four places of the Crossroads League regular season play, capturing a host spot for the first round of the conference tournament. He also aims for his team’s play to produce three all-conference players.

Although the team has established itself as a strong contender, Ferguson said the second half will reveal how good his team is.

“The key to our success for the season is to continue staying positive and pushing one another on the courts,” Rongos said.

HU will host conference foe Spring Arbor Sept. 26 at 11 a.m.