The University of Indianapolis tennis teams are excited to start this spring season and are setting a goal to make it back to the national championship after having athletes who qualified for it in the 2023 season according to UIndy Athletics. Head Coach Malik Tabet has been coaching UIndy’s tennis teams for 12 years now and is proud of the work his team has put in.
“The kids are eager to start,” Tabet said. “They have been training hard over Christmas and the last few weeks. They are ready to compete and are excited that it is all starting this weekend.”
The goal both tennis teams have set for themselves is to take every match a step at a time. They aim to reach nationals but are focusing on the matches ahead of them and daily work to reach their final goal, according to senior Diane Flament.
“Being consistent, fighting for every point, and as matches go on and as we improve towards the middle and the end of the season, we want to improve our games,” Flament said. “We want to play better, be even more consistent, be even more aggressive. We have ambition and goals for this season. Especially conferences. We want to win the conference, then we want to win regionals and we want to go to nationals and go as far as we can.”
According to Flament, Coach Tabet has the team working on their doubles pairs so they have strategies down. Flament believes the team is ready now since they have been training their consistency and staying aggressive despite the challenges the teams may have to face.
According to graduate student Tom Zeuch, the men’s team has lost key players on their main line up. Even with this change, Zeuch is confident the team will still have a fantastic season.
“We brought in two great new guys from Bulgaria and two guys from South America who are doing good,” Zeuch said. “We had freshmen last year who didn’t play but now have worked themselves up to be in the lineup now. I think the biggest change or struggle we face is that we lost four players, but I’m confident enough that we can replace them and have a great, strong team again.”
Zeuch made it to the NCAA semifinals before losing to the Columbus State Cougars in a doubles match, according to UIndy Athletics. Despite the loss in the previous season, Zeuch is prepared for another match up in the NCAA Tournament.
“I do less stuff on the court and you would see me more in the gym or doing tennis specific workouts, whether it is being more flexible, working on strength as well as speed and more endurance,” Zeuch said. “If you look at the pros, these are complete athletes, where years ago, tennis was maybe a little bit more about finesse, good technique, like you don’t need like a strong body or strong legs, whatever it is. But now it’s all about being a complete athlete, like they can sprint, they can jump, whatever it is. So, this is what I really changed on, instead of me hitting a lot of tennis balls, I worked on my body to get me 100 percent in shape and maybe even more. With my overall speed and my shots got a little bit faster”.
According to Zeuch, both team’s goal is to strike back with vengeance. Zeuch also made a promise to his coach when he was a freshman that he intends to keep.
“I promised my coach a national championship in my freshman year,” Zeuch said“I’ve yet to prove that to him. So, this is my last year. It’s my last chance. So, my goal now is to bring that to him now,.”
The UIndy tennis teams are ready for this season and all they ask is that their fans come out and support them during the upcoming season. UIndy men’s and women’s tennis faced off against conference opponent Grand Valley State on Feb. 3rd on their home courts at the UIndy Tennis Center and played Ferris State on Feb. 4. The men’s team won 5-2 while the women’s team won with a score of 7-0 against GVSU and will play their next four matches at home as well.
“I want to encourage people to come watch us because it’s going to be an awesome season,” Flament said, “I can feel it.”