Senior tennis player excels for Grenadiers

IUS Horizon

Matt Coomer
Matt Coomer

Before Matt Coomer, Spanish junior, entered elementary school he began learning a game that he would eventually come to love.

Coomer’s love for tennis was passed to him from his father, a tennis teaching professional.

When he was 5 years old, Coomer had learned the fundamentals of tennis and had begun to excel.

“By the time I was seven, I was playing in age 12-and-under tournaments,” Coomer said. “I seemed to understand it pretty quickly, and I really seemed to like it.”

Coomer continued to develop his knowledge for tennis and eventually became one of the most successful players at Eastern High School in Louisville.

For three years, Coomer played number one singles and was the only player from his high school for 20 years to advance to the state tournament.

“That was the highlight of my high school career,” Coomer said.

After high school, Coomer chose IU Southeast as the place to continue his tennis career.

“I picked IUS because it’s close to where I live,” Coomer said. “I really liked the coaches and the campus a lot.”

Coomer was named to the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s All Conference Team for the 2009-10 season.

“Matt is very motivated, determined and he really wants the team to do good,” Kevin Sacksteder, secondary education sophomore and teammate, said. “He is a really good teammate and player. He is a strategically smart tennis player.”

Coomer hopes to one day follow in his father’s footsteps and become a tennis teaching professional, but he has other goals he would like to meet first.

“I would like to attempt to play professional tennis after college or maybe this summer if possible,” Coomer said.

In order for Coomer to play professionally, he would have to play a series of qualifier events to gain points to work his way up the ranking system of the International Tennis Federation.

Coomer hopes that teaching tennis will take him places outside the United States.

“My main goal is to become a tennis teaching professional and teach in another country hopefully,” Coomer said. “I chose my major as Spanish because I have always wanted to learn a foreign language, and I plan on traveling a lot.”

When Coomer isn’t playing tennis, he is working at the University of Louisville Bass-Rudd Tennis center.

“I have known the director for a long time,” Coomer said. “I used to take tennis lessons and camps from him, and I have been working for him for three and a half years.”

Besides tennis, music is a major part of Coomer’s free time.

“I love music, and I like all types from rock to blue grass music,” Coomer said. “I have been playing the drums since I was 8 years old.”

Coomer enjoys spending time outdoors by hiking and camping, but his true passion lies in playing tennis at IU Southeast.

“I like the coaches and how serious we all take the game,” Coomer said. “The level of competition is great for a NAIA school, and we play a lot of top ranked teams.”

Coomer’s dedication to the game is evident to all who watch him play.

“Matt is the best player in our conference,” Evan Biesterveld, criminal justice freshman and teammate said. “He is really dedicated and takes tennis very seriously. He loves it and you can see it.”

On March 12, Coomer and the IUS tennis team defeated KIAC favorite Brescia University.

Coomer defeated Brescia’s Thiago Mastroianni in singles play and teamed with Kevin Sacksteder to defeat Brescia’s number one doubles team.

By NIKOLETTE LANGDON

Staff Writer

nlangdon@umail.iu.edu