After the 2015-2016 season, the women’s tennis team graduated no seniors, but welcomed three first-years. With new blood, it’s no surprise that the team is off to a commanding start to their fall season. After just the first two weeks of competition, the Duhawks improved their record to 4-1 in their overall season and 1-0 in conference play.
“I’m very pleased with the beginning we’ve had,” said head coach Chad Fenwick, who is entering his second year of coaching at Loras. “I feel like the team is coming together well, especially now that our doubles teams are starting to develop.
We have some tough matches ahead of us that will challenge us to grow.”
The momentum that the Duhawks have created will not be easily stopped throughout the rest of their season.
The doubles combo of sophomore Emma Cooke and first-year McKenna Craff already embody the natural chemistry that Fenwick hopes to develop in all of the doubles as they start season with a perfect record of 5-0. The chemistry the duo brings to the team adds to the culture of family the tennis program is looking to develop.
“We are continually trying to build up a culture of winning, a culture of family, and a culture of positivity within the tennis program,” said senior captain Jessica Dickhut. “Our current winning streak and the bond we share as a team is a testament to that culture we are looking for.”
The upcoming season itself is not the only thing that the tennis program is looking forward to. On Sept. 2, signs were posted on the tennis courts reading: “Construction on new tennis courts to begin fall of 2016.” A new tennis facility is more than just new nets, fences, and courts. It is about the fact that the new courts will bring that “look good, feel good” attitude, bringing energy to the players and creating a positive buzz about tennis around campus and around the city.
“It will help attract more interest in the program from prospective Duhawks,” said Fenwick, hopefully setting up the program for success in the future.
The new tennis facility represents the start of an era for the tennis program with the goal of winning the conference tournament.
Demolition of the current tennis facility is slated to begin in mid-October after the women’s fall season ends. Construction will be halted for the winter months and will begin again in the spring. Until the new facility is completed, both the men’s and women’s team will be playing all home matches at Wahlert High School. Next time you walk by the tennis courts, make sure you say your goodbyes because in just a matter of months those courts will be gone and a brand new facility will be in its place.