St. Ambrose rainout creates much anticipation for future matches
With conference play all wrapped up, the Loras women’s tennis team can now prepare for the spring season. Despite losing their top three players from last year, the team is trying to keep pace with last year’s standards.
The team saw big conference wins against University of Dubuque and Buena Vista, replicating last year’s performances. Although Coach Fenwick’s goal at the beginning of the season was to “hang with teams like Wartburg and Central,” he is happy with the progress made this season from the young group, and says he “looks forward to molding them into better athletes in time.”
Coach Fenwick has a lot of time to make the team into the serious conference contender he wants, considering that six of the eight athletes are underclassmen. While Fenwick does realize it will be tough to make it to the top of the conference with programs such as Luther and Coe standing in the way. He does believe given another season, Wartburg and Central are within reachable distance to surpass in the near future.
Loras sits at sixth in the conference at the end of the season, but it is not safe to assume the program has flat lined. On the contrary, the Loras women have a significant amount of potential for improvement.
The young team was tested this year outside of the conference as well, facing many tough matchups that only gave them more experience going forward. Unfortunately, the anticipated competition against St. Ambrose was postponed due to a rainout. St. Ambrose was the matchup that would have truly shown where the Loras women stand this season compared to last season. In the 2014-2015 season, Loras was narrowly defeated by St. Ambrose 5-4. Coach Fenwick and the team are looking forward to the test of facing the Bees in the spring, but are happy with the performances they put out over the course of this season.
Early on, Fenwick noted that he was “given the 2015 fall schedule and had no choice but to play without being able to make changes.” With that being said, the women did an outstanding job with the matchups that they were given, and it surely made the team stronger. Coach Fenwick is looking forward to having some control over the schedule for next year’s season, and will most likely include a mix of challenges as well as even-matched teams in the schedule.
The women’s tennis team faced the rebuilding process this season with the loss of key contenders from last season and the introduction of a new coach, but handled the situation extremely well. Now that the team has adjusted to the coaching styles of Fenwick, as well as gained a season of experience for those who hadn’t seen as much time on the college court in the past, the team looks nowhere but up.
Keep a close eye on the women’s tennis program as competition continues, they’re an IIAC sleeper team that’s eager to pounce on unsuspecting competition in the near future.