Success in Florida

The University of Indianapolis men’s tennis team faced Vincennes University at UIndy’s tennis center on March 20, suffering an 8-1 defeat.

Over spring break, Indianapolis’ tennis teams took a trip to Orlando to compete in a series of five matches.

The men’s team played their first match in the Sunshine State on March 7 against Minnesota State.  UIndy defeated Minnesota State 7-2.

Sophomore Taylor Broda earned the closest win, posting a victory 6-4, 7-5 (11-9). Sophomore Matt Smith won 6-0, 6-2. Freshman Steffen Good took his match in straight sets, winning 6-3 in each set. Sophomore Jeff Price also won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. Freshman Preston Swain claimed victory over his opponent 6-1, 6-1.

On March 8, UIndy played Eckerd College in St. Petersburg falling 6-1, as matches ended early due to darkness.  The March 10 match against Michigan Tech played in Orlando left UIndy with another loss, 8-1.  The matches scheduled for March 11-12 against Mesa State and Grand Valley State were canceled due to rain.

According to head coach John Venter, health has been an issue for the men thus far.

“We need to keep our men healthy,” Venter said.  “We’ve had three or four injuries this season.  We can almost never play with a full roster.”

After the Florida matches, UIndy’s men’s team’s record dropped to 6-5.

The women’s team had a more successful trip to Florida, starting with their 7-2 win against Minnesota State on March 7, taking five of six singles matches.

Sophomore Alena Perez Majul won in straight sets 6-4, 7-5. Sophomore Lee Matthews took her match 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. Sophomore Meghan Teunis won 6-3, 7-5. Junior Kelsey Hartman won easily 6-0, 6-2. Freshman Rachel Barger won 6-3, 6-2.

In doubles competition, Hartman and junior Ceciley Starkey won 8-6. Teunis and Barger took their match 8-4.

The Lady ‘Hounds won again on March 8 with an 8-1 win against Eckerd.  The women continued their winning streak against Saginaw Valley State with a 6-3 outcome on March 10.  The women’s March 11-12 matches scheduled against Mesa State and Grand Valley State, respectively, were canceled due to rain.

“Our women’s team needs to believe they’re capable of beating every team on our schedule,” Venter said.  “We’ve got to get out there and prove we’re as good as we are.”

The spring break matches brought the Lady ‘Hounds up to a 7-1 record thus far this season.

“We help each other improve in order to make us a better and stronger team,” Teunis said.

The matches in Florida were a different experience than most practices and other matches the ‘Hounds have had this season.  These are the first outdoor matches that both teams played so far this year.

“We’re lucky enough to own an indoor tennis court, where there are always perfect conditions.  You don’t have the sun, wind or rain,” Venter said.  “In Florida we had sun, wind and rain.  That’s a factor we have to re-teach ourselves to work with.”

Senior Werner Henning agreed that playing in Florida presented new challenges, especially regarding the weather.

“The outdoor conditions play slower than indoors and there are also more variables involved like the wind and sun.  On a windy day, the playing field is leveled,” Henning said.  “Being able to go to Florida and compete is a privilege so you really want to perform well.”

Updates from the men’s and women’s matches against Northern Kentucky and the University of Missouri-St. Louis were not available as of Reflector press time.

The teams travel to St. Joseph’s April 2 to take on the Pumas.

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