The women’s tennis team is starting their 2015 season fresh, with a new head coach and a young team. Coach Chad Fenwick previously coached the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Ashford University, where he was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year.
Now in his first year as the coach for both men’s and women’s tennis at Loras, Fenwick hopes to get the team some more experience and develop match toughness, as well as work on building up the team’s roster over the course of the next couple years.
“My plan is to have more of a comprehensive program,” said Fenwick, adding that he wants to focus on the physicality of the sport while maintaining a composed nature out on the court. Fenwick also looks forward to the opportunity of working up a relatively young group of athletes to their full potential.
“Losing your one and two is always a struggle”, says Fenwick, “But being a young team, I can mold them into what I want them to be.” The team lost their No. 1 and No. 2 players to seniority, and their third decided to not come out for the team after the 2014 season. The team returns a couple players with significant playing time from last year, and a few others who saw some time on the court last season as well.
“Building the team’s roster as far as adding more depth,” said Fenwick when asked what his main concern was when it comes to building the team to a higher performance level. “We want to get away from the idea that it’s a “show-up” type program. We want kids that want the education of Loras, but also want to be tennis players.”
“This is a big year for recruitment,” Fenwick said. He hopes the talent level of the team will increase with bigger numbers, and start to solidify the women’s program as a significant contender in the IIAC.
“The conference is continuing to get better,” noted Fenwick, citing powerhouse teams such as Coe and Simpson leading the way. “I see us in the mix with Wartburg and Central”, says Fenwick, who is confident a solid season of training will bring the team to the goals they set out to achieve. Competitively, Fenwick has made it a goal this year for the team to finish in the top half of the conference
The Duhawks already defeated crosstown conference rival University of Dubuque in their first match of the season, proving that the team has a solid base for the season ahead. The future looks bright for the women’s tennis program.