Sports

Underclassmen look to make early impact in men’s tennis

The 2015 men's tennis team brings mix of returners and new Foresters. Coach Eckert discusses his expectations.

Senior Joseph Straznicky retreats after taking a volley at the net. Archive Photo
Senior Joseph Straznicky retreats after taking a volley at the net. (Phot

Foresters lost 8-1 to Aquinas College, but head coach Kreg Eckert said he was pleased with the way the team played.

“Yesterday, we played Aquinas College, which is perennially in the top 20 in the country year after year,” Eckert said. “We played our best match, I thought, of [the] year.”

Eckert said playing against tough competition ultimately helps better the team.

“We’ve played four matches – three non-conference, and one conference,” Eckert said. “And the three non-conference we’ve played are probably three of the top teams in a 250-mile radius. We’ve played well against them. We’ve lost handily by the score, but the only way to get better is to play better players.”

This year’s team is comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores, with a couple returning juniors and seniors.

The Foresters’ victorious match against Aquinas was won by the doubles team of senior Joseph Straznicky and freshman Ignacio Poncio.

“I feel like me and Ignacio are playing pretty good doubles, and we’re getting along very well,” Straznicky said.

The young team will have to adjust to playing with new conditions considering there are only two returning players from last year.

“Most of the team is first-year incomers, so most of them have to get into the system and the court,” Straznicky said. “They are still kind of learning the ways of playing here. It’s going to take time, for sure.”

Despite the lack of experience, Straznicky said he feels positively about these newcomers.

“I think the team is getting better with every practice and every match,” Straznicky said. “Mostly because they get shaped, and I think that we have a better team this year.”

One of the newcomers, sophomore Mark Lewandowski, said he is feeling good in his first season on the varsity team.

“It’s a lot better than my first year,” Lewandowski said. “[I’m] getting more comfortable here playing the courts [and] getting to know the different teams and players.”

Eckert said he is optimistic about this young team.

“The future is great, and I think we will finish in the middle of the pack in conference, or higher,” Eckert said. “With all freshmen and sophomores, that’s pretty good.”

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