Despite dropping a match against Wabash College last week 6-3, the men's tennis team is entering the pre-season well prepared.
Team captain junior Peter Swendsen said the team is enjoying new blood this season with four first-years comprising the ten varsity slots.
"We're really pleased and have been, right from the time we saw them play in the fall," Swendsen said.
"We've got a real solid team across the board," Coach Chris Barker said. "I'm really happy with the progress we've made."
Against Wabash, sophomore Eric Shinn, first-year Jed Greenberg and sophomore Jon Stinson all won their matches. Shinn beat a Wabash opponent 6-0, 1-6, 6-2.
Greenberg took his opponent in two straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
Stinson started slow then came alive beating a Wabash player 6-7, 6-2, 6-4. "It was kind of a strange match. I was down 4-1 in the third set, then I got a lot of good coaching from the team," Stinson said. "It was kind of more of a come back," he said.
Although they lost the match, many players were pleased with the performance. "Once we get a few more conference matches under our belt, we'll be able to step up," Swendsen said.
"Almost every single match could have gone either way," Stinson said about the team's overall performance. To get over that hill and produce wins, Stinson said the team will have to be tight and individuals will have to be mentally focused.
The pre-season will extend through Spring Break for the men. The prospects for conference meets look good, and the team is ready to better last year's performance of improving to sixth in the conference rankings.
"I really think we can jump up to fifth and then make fourth," Barker said. "But we're definitely not going to back slide," he said.
The strength of the conference, whose top three teams are usually ranked in the nation's top 20, is not discouraging the Yeomen.
"Last year we were pleased to move up in the standings. This year we're really hopeful about another good season. Hopefully we'll do the same thing this year," Swendsen said.
"It think we're really going to surprise a lot of people," Stinson said.
Swendsen attributes the positive position of the team to focused Fall practice. "A lot of guys put in a lot of work in the Fall," Swendson said. "Other than general head captain's practices once a week, it was really player initiated," he said.
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 16, February 27, 1998
Contact us with your comments and suggestions.