Men’s and women’s tennis teams return with high hopes

Last season, the women’s tennis team finished 22-6, was undefeated at home and in conference play, and made it to the second round of the NCAA regional tournament.

The men went 28-6, were 18-0 when at home or at neutral sites, and finished the season in the third round of the NCAA regional tournament.
Expectations for this season are sky high for both teams.

Schaefer

The men and women come into the season losing a few players, but both teams will keep their cores intact.

The men’s roster features one freshman after coming into last season with six, and still made a deep post-season run.
All of those players will be returning, including the phenomenal freshmen Byron Balkin and Ethan Niquet, who will be entering their sophomore seasons.

“After a year of playing together with Byron we can only get better,” Balkin’s doubles partner and senior Mitch Osborne said.
“As a team, we expect everyone to just come out and work their hardest. We’re ecstatic for the start of this season, and to prove that we’re a powerhouse.”

On the women’s side, they field a team that has all returning players. Not a single freshman on the roster.
Kalla Schaefer and Annie Smith, who are returning for their senior season, will be the team’s No. 1 and 2 singles players.

“I’m going to give it everything I’ve got every match,” Schaefer said. “I’ve been improving my game and we’ve got some really solid players coming back. I’m hoping we can make another great run.”

It’s no surprise that both teams are supremely confident heading into this season after making impressive post-season runs, and returning a majority of the players who helped the teams get there.

“With everyone being a year more mature, and having only one new player it allows me as a coach to focus on improving every position,” Coach Frank Barnes said. “Everyone worked really hard over the summer, so if things work out we should do even better this year.”

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