The men’s tennis team opened its fall season in Davenport, IA against the St. Ambrose Bees. The Duhawks cruised to an easy 8-1 win to top their opponent.
This dominant win is in part due to the good foundation the men’s team has. According to head coach Chad Fenwick, four out of the top six players returned from last year, creating a roster depth of 13 players. The men’s tennis team only graduated two seniors this past year, so having six newcomers to the team bolstered numbers and confidence. Not only does having 13 men on the roster provide the depth the tennis program is looking for, it also allows for an opportunity to develop the players. The 13-man roster adds to the competitive atmosphere that coach Fenwick is looking for.
“We have had a lot of healthy competition for spots in the line-up, especially at the five and six spot. Everyone is working hard to earn their spot in the starting line-up. I’m pleased with the competition on the team. It pushes everyone to get better,” Coach Fenwick said.
These are the building blocks that create a dominant program for the future. Their showing against St. Ambrose is a preview for their traditional season in the spring.
This solid start to the non-traditional fall season continues the momentum from their season last year. The men enter the new season coming off of a strong showing from the past. Last year, the men finished the season 9-9 and qualified for the team conference tournament.
“It’s been a long while since the men’s team has gone to the conference tournament. We went last year and it is our goal to make it again this year,” said Fenwick.
The men’s team has found the stability they have lacked in the past and turned it into success on the court. Along with success, they have also faced a number of challenges. With the tough opponents they faced, the Duhawks still showed enduring resilience – working towards a common goal: winning the conference tournament. That goal is kept in mind with every ball they hit. With such a strong season last year, it is expected that the men’s tennis team should have another successful year on the court.
“The interesting part about last season is that we were far from our potential. There is so much room to grow and I think we’re going to see that this season,” said senior and captain Jason Derby.
The men’s tennis team will be back in action in Waterloo for the Individual Conference Tournament where they will compete across three flights in both singles and doubles.
The competition will be as fierce as ever with the addition of Nebraska Wesleyan University as the newest team in the IIAC and as they face old rivalries. As the men’s team participates in the individual conference tournament which ends their non-traditional fall season, they look to prepare themselves for the upcoming spring season as they take on both conference and nonconference teams.