After a fast start to the season, the men’s tennis team has had a rough spell playing in what Head Coach Eric Ishida calls the “thicker” part of their schedule. Still, with conference play just around the corner, Ishida thinks the team’s quick 6–1 start to the year has put them in good position to make a late-season run.
“Early in the season we learned how to be successful and learned how to finish matches and finish sets,” Ishida said. This experience will come in handy as the Yeomen try to finish the season strong.
Though they’ve struggled lately, the Yeomen have known since their schedule was announced that the toughest part of their season would come near the end.
“There were three phases to the season,” sophomore Dan Bloch said. The team excelled in the first phase of the season, losing only one of their first seven games. The second phase is where the team ran into some trouble. Bloch mentioned the importance of “match experience” gained during this portion of the season, even though the team’s record suffered for it.
“Playing teams that were a lot tougher in the second part of the season gave us a reality check of where we were,” he said. Still, the team hopes that this tough part is what will allow them to compete and win in the third phase of the season, the North Coast Athletic Conference championships.
“We’ve put the work in; it’s all about being in the mindset to hang tough and stay strong and work really hard this week,” Bloch said. The team left last season’s tournament after two quick losses, but this year’s team boasts more experience and first-year phenomenon Callan Louis, factors they hope will allow them to do more damage this time around.
The Yeomen know that if they play their game, they can compete against anyone. “We just have to peak at the right time,” Ishida said. Conference championship games start today, and the Yeomen will have the added advantage of playing on their home court. Ishida, Bloch and the rest of the men’s tennis team are certainly hoping they’ll get back to their winning ways when it matters most.