Tennis teams split on road trip in Michigan
It was an unsuccessful day for both the University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s tennis teams this past Sunday, as each team suffered losses at Northwood University against the Timberwolves. The men’s team dropped a 5-2 decision, while the women lost by a final of 6-3.
A few days earlier on Saturday, Feb. 28, both teams claimed victories on the road against the Ferris State University Bulldogs. The men emerged victorious in their match for the fourth-straight time, claiming a 5-4 advantage over the Bulldogs, while the women took their third-straight victory with a statistically lopsided 8-1 win.
During the weekend before, the Greyhounds competed in the annual Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference/Great Lakes Valley Conference crossover in their fourth and fifth matches of the season. The Greyhounds hosted the Walsh University Caveliers on Feb. 20 and the Rockhurst University Hawks on Feb. 22.
The women took an 8-1 victory against Rockhurst giving the Greyhounds their second victory on the season. The Greyhounds won all three matches in doubles competition against the Hawks, for their second doubles sweep of the weekend. They suffered their only loss in singles competition, but improved their record to 2-3 with the victory.
The Greyhounds’ victory over the Hawks was the second in a row for the women, after an 0-3 start to the season. Yet according to senior captain Brooke Boyts, the team is confident in their ability to get back to its winning ways.
“We’ve gotten a lot of new talent, so our team has really beefed up in that way,” Boyts said. “I think at this point we need to focus on the skill that we need to have to do really well. We have the raw talent, we just need to apply it well.”
The men also played against the Hawks on the same day, claiming a 7-2 victory. In doubles, they suffered only one loss in a tiebreak during the No. 1 match. The other loss in the men’s match came in another tiebreak decision, in No. 5 singles. The team victory improved the Greyhounds record to 4-1 on the season.
Junior Tony Kostadinov attributed the Greyhounds early success this season to the extra work that the men’s team has been putting in, on and off of the court.
“We are coming early to practice, [and] we are doing individual sessions with coach and coming early to serve baskets,” Kostadinov said. “It showed here [against Walsh] in No. 1 singles, coming out on top in the third. It [the extra work] is working.”
Earlier in the weekend, the women faced Walsh to begin the GLIAC/GLVC crossover competition, winning 9-0 and claiming their first doubles sweep of the weekend. As a team, only one set was dropped the entire match, as the Greyhounds grabbed their first win of the season.
Boyts said that the toughness of the early season schedule has helped the team prepare for the long season.
“We purposely plan tough schools at the beginning of the season to help us get prepared for important matches towards the middle and end of the season,” Boyts said. “But we don’t let our record really affect us mentally. The tough matches make us better, and if we just played easy ones, we wouldn’t improve.”
The men also came out on top against the Cavaliers, claiming a 9-0 sweep. Besides taking three doubles victories, the men also won every singles set on the day.
Head Tennis Coach Malik Tabet said mental toughness and discipline will serve as key factors for success as both the men and women move forward.
“I’m very satisfied with the talent on this team,” he said. “We need more mental toughness. That’s really what it is. How to grind, when to play the important points and when to let go whenever we lose an easy point. And that’s just maturity. We’ve got a fairly young team, the season is young, and we scheduled tough matches in the beginning of the season.”
The men’s and women’s teams will play next on the road against the University of North Georgia Nighthawks on March 1. Action for both teams is set to begin at 2 p.m.