Men’s tennis team looks forward to defending KIAC championship

IUS Horizon

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Matt Coomer, Spanish junior, prepares to return a shot during practice. The men’s tennis team will open their season on Friday, March 12 against Brescia University.

The IUS men’s tennis team will compete in their first game on Friday, March 12, against Brescia University.

However, before their season begins, the tennis team is putting in hard work in order to prepare for their defense of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title.

Yancey Walters, head men’s tennis coach, said he has high hopes for this season.

“I believe we will perform even better than last season,” Walters said. “We have a strong group of sophomores, a great junior and one of my most talented groups of freshman since becoming coach.”

Walters has been the head coach for the men’s tennis team for five years, and he was also an assistant coach a year before that.

Winning the conference for the third straight year is one of the major ambitions the tennis team is trying to achieve.

Nathan Cross, finance freshman, said he expects to win conference.

“Our goal is to win conference, which I think we can do,” Cross said. “We should go far because we put a lot of hard work, time and conditioning into it.”

One of the items Walters stressed more of during practice sessions was conditioning. This included activities such as running and weight lifting.

“We need to improve on our cardiovascular conditioning even more and stay healthier with less injuries,” Walters said.

Evan Biesterveld, criminal justice freshman, said the team has been working hard to improve on their conditioning for the season.

“From the fall, I know coach said he’s picking up on conditioning a little bit more, and I think we’re pretty excited about this season,” Biesterveld said. “We have a really solid line up. Most of the teams, actually everyone, has been working really hard.”

Walters said one of his other goals for this season is for the team to improve on their winning record.

“Last year we had a winning record, but we only won three or four more than we lost, and I think we can do better than that this year,” Walters said. “Also, I would like to win the KIAC again and win the independent playoff that the KIAC winner goes to.”

Matt Coomer, Spanish junior, also said he wants the men’s tennis team to continue being conference champions.

“Our goals are to win the conference tournament and try to improve on our record from last year,” Coomer said. “We should win our third consecutive conference title.”

Walters said the best quality of the team is their ability to work and play together in order to improve on their skills.

“Our team gets along really well,” Walters said. “We have some very athletic kids, and they have worked hard so far.”

In addition to getting along, Walters said the tennis team is also very diligent.

“I like [the players] or I would not have recruited them,” Walters said. “Most of them must like me and being on the team or they would quit because it takes a lot of hard work to play on the team.”

One of the games Walters said he is looking forward to is on March 12 against Brescia University.

“It will be a tough match,” Walters said. “Being a private school, they have many more athletic scholarships than us.”

Although Brescia is ranked No. 26 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Coaches’ Poll, Walters is optimistic his players will be able to compete with them.

“Their top players are from France, Brazil and Germany,” Walters said. “But we have always had very athletic kids, who have multisport experience, and hard working teams. We run, play and practice hard. That’s why we have traditionally been strong in our conference and region.”

Walters said he hopes his team will do well and expects the players to go far this season.

“I believe we will have an even better record than last year, and we will repeat as conference champions.”

By CLAIRE MUNN

Staff Writer

clamunn@umail.iu.edu