Both the women and men’s tennis teams took to the court this past weekend. As the women began the spring portion of their season and the men have hit the mid-way point, both teams have had their fair share of tough opponents thus far.
On Saturday, the ladies faced off against undefeated Carthage College at the Oshkosh YMCA Tennis Center. Carthage beat the Titans by a score of 9-0, with wins in six singles and three doubles matches.
Despite how lopsided the score may seem, coach Daniel Bickett said he was pleased with the performance.
This was the first match for the women’s team since the end of its fall season. On the other side, Carthage had already competed multiple times in the spring.
Bickett said he was proud of his No. 2 and 3 doubles teams. Although both these pairs ended up losing their matches 8-6, he admired their perseverance after going down early.
“I was really happy with how our girls continued to fight, and got their way back into it,” Bickett said.
Senior Hannah Bostwick, who plays as the No. 5 single and on the No. 3 doubles team, said she was also satisfied with the way the team played. Bostwick said she considered the match to be a success despite the score.
“They were tough competitors, but we can leave that match knowing that we are even more prepared to face some more great teams on our spring break trip,” Bostwick said.
On Sunday, the men’s team traveled to Madison to take on Augustana College.
After losing the three doubles matches, the Titans had clutch performances in singles from senior Aidan Sauberlich at No. 2 singles and freshman Logan Zastrow at No. 6 singles. Both Sauberlich and Zastrow went into super tiebreakers for the third set, where they both eventually lost the close matches.
Sauberlich said he believes that if the team continues to play as competitively as they have been, they will find success.
“We had many tight matches against them, and if we keep putting ourselves in those situations, eventually we will persevere to succeed,” Sauberlich said.
Bickett said his team played hard despite early deficits. He emphasized that both men’s and women’s teams competed the entire match.
The roster of both teams are young with five out of the 12 women, as well as four of the nine men, being freshman. This is coach Bickett’s first year as the head coach for both teams.
Bickett said with teams being this young, it is all about beginning to build a program culture.
Bickett said his philosophy revolves around playing hard, regardless whether the team wins or loses.
“Since this is my first year, what we are really trying to do is create a culture of going out and competing as hard as we can everytime,” Bickett said.
Bickett said that both freshman and upperclassman have bought into his philosophy.
“Coach is always pushing us to get better whether it’s the way we play or supporting our teammates when they’re in a tough match,” Sauberlich said. “Every match gets us closer to where we want to be as a team.”
The seniors have a large impact on these teams as they are the longest tenured members of the team.
“Our seniors have been really great in terms of helping that transition along, both on the guys side and girls side,” Bickett said.
Along with building a program, the teams have fairly high expectations for the rest of their season. The men are pursuing an NCAA tournament bid and the ladies are hoping to make it to the Final Four.
Both teams continue their season over spring break where they will be traveling down to Hilton Head, South Carolina to play matches against schools from all over the country.