Men’s Tennis: Serving up a strong finish

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by Lexie Hagerty/Staff Writer

A third of the way through the season, the Simpson men’s tennis team hopes to get a couple more wins under their belt.

The Storm is 1-7 in overall matches and 0-3 in conference games.”We should have the ability to be competitive in a couple of our last matches,” coach Bill Wright said. “We are few in numbers. That is really the only thing that is holding us back as a team.”

The team consists of six players, with only one senior.

Wright said each player works hard in his match, but it’s hard to win matches due to the team’s low number of athletes.

“It is hard to win matches when the team starts down 0-3 due to forfeits, because sometimes we only have four guys attending the match,” junior Noah Saunders of Norwalk said.

Wright said the team’s main strength is effort and understanding of the game, but there is plenty to work on in practice.

The team’s practices focus mostly on deep rally, consistency, attacking the ball at appropriate times and keeping the ball in play.

Saunders said this season has gone nothing like last season.

“I am having mixed emotions about the team, because we don’t have a full team,” Saunders said. “However, at the same time, I am having a blast this season because of the team unity that exists among my teammates.”

Saunders said his Simpson tennis career has been interesting because he has had a different coach each year.

Wright played for the Storm from 1989 to 1992 and just took the head coach job for the Storm this spring. He is the third coach in three years.Wright said the team has definitely improved on little things throughout the season, but quick improvements are a lot more noticeable in new players, including junior Lucas Haack of Ankeny.

This season is Haack’s first season of tennis.

He has played soccer for the Storm for the past three years, but decided to play tennis this year as well.

“It is something I picked up for fun, but it is definitely very competitive,” Haack said.

Haack said tennis helps him train for soccer. Tennis helps him with his individual mindset since tennis is more individual based than soccer.

“Because you are on the court alone, you are your own team,” Haack said. “It’s a fight to stay positive. If you get down, it’s hard to get back up.”

The Storm has 7 matches left in regular season play, with four of them are at home.

Wright said he has many goals for the rest of the season as well as the seasons ahead.

“The attitude and effort are good,” Wright said. “When you are rebuilding something, it is a process.”

Wright said he looks forward to next year and allowing a few new players to mix in with this group of younger but experienced players.”It should be a good mix,” Wright said.