With the thick of conference play toward the end of the season, the men’s tennis team has had to play a lot of tennis but it’s come with the reward of Ws.
Playing four conference matches in this last week alone, the Duhawks took on Simpson, Central, UD and Wartburg, going 3-1 falling only to Central 6-3.
“The victory over UD was a big one for several reasons. It clinched our spot in the conference tournament for a third straight year,” said senior Jason Derby. “In addition, like any sport, it is our cross-town rival and always good to get a victory.”
These four matches were played on the new Tucker Tennis Courts giving the guys a spark of the home court advantage.
“We played most of last year on the road because we didn’t have our courts, so it’s really nice to be back at home with the Loras crowd cheering for us,” said Janouch.
Without changing the lineup much at all since the beginning of the season, the Duhawks have settled into a comfortable rhythm allowing them to stand currently at 13-5 heading into the postseason.
“Keeping the lineup consistent, the partners the sames, really lets the guys get to know each and learn how the other plays,” said Janouch. “This has been of our best years, and I think we can make a strong showing in the conference tournament, crossing the Coe bridge when we get there.”
Having recently defeated Wartburg 7-2 on Wednesday, April 25, for the first time since 2002, the men are confident heading into the tournament. Coe, however, are 8-0 in conference and 22-5 overall. Should the team continue their winning streak, they will look forward to some strong competition against the Kohawks. With a season of growth and development their respective slots behind them, IIAC performance will come down to execution. Tournament play is set to begin for the Duhawks on Sunday, May 6.
“This season was about bringing it all together. As a team, we lost no one to graduation last year. We knew each other and enjoyed playing together, and this year was about bringing all that experience together to make a move up the conference,” said Derby.
Hoping to make a strong showing at the tournament, the tennis team will then have to say goodbye to two seniors, Kevin Murphy and Derby.
“We going to miss our seniors. Kevin’s humor and Jason’s leadership have been a major part of this team, and we’re definitely going to miss that,” said Janouch.