By Adnan Basic
The men’s tennis team at Roosevelt University has kicked its season into high gear as the program plans on building momentum off early succes.
The team started the spring season off with a dominant victory against Concordia University, winning every matchup on the day, ending with a team score of 9-0. However, the next contest saw the team fall to Chicago State University by a score of 1-6.
After those games, the team traveled down to Florida to compete in the USTA National Campus Tournament. It was here where the Lakers really began to find some success. Roosevelt started off the tourney with a win over Penn State Berks College.
They then went on to beat Morningside College in a tight affair, before falling to Ave Maria University. The team would save its best performance for last though, as Roosevelt defeated Saint Anselm College to close out the tournament.
For head coach Greg Couch, the tournament was a great success, both on and off the court. “The trip was great for us, and it also showed the school’s commitment to the team. Basically living together away from our usual setting and working hard together and fighting hard together in the most amazing tennis complex in America really helps to bring a team together,” Couch said.
“One night after a day match a group of players went to Universal Studios. We also played so many matches in a short time, that it helped the team to find its competitive edge,” Couch said.
Now, the team looks to build momentum following a strong showing at the tournament. Biology major Kendrick Chong believed that some lessons can be taken from the tourney as well. “From the trip, we plan on building off on our overall mental game,” Chong said.
“I believe that each and every one of us already have the basics and the physical aspects of the game down, but we need to work on our mental capability to order to bring the heat in our upcoming matches.”
Team captain Kevin Day, a hospitality and sports management major, had high hopes for himself and his teammates.
“My goals first and foremost are to make it to the conference tournament. From there I think we can compete and give ourselves a good shot to make it to the national tournament,” Day said.
However, Coach Couch is not just focused on this year. He has kept his eyes toward the future, planning on continuing to help grow the tennis program at Roosevelt University.
“I ask myself each night if the program is better now than it was when I woke up.
So far, it usually has been. We have been able to repair – and further establish – relationships in the local tennis community,” Couch said. “Some of these recruits who came to Roosevelt this year have come on faith and their attitude is the backbone of this rebuilding job. Because of them, recruits now see an entirely different picture when they consider playing for the Lakers. It’s really exciting.”