The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Aces high: Previewing the season for the men’s tennis team

Caleb Geer
Junior Drake Downard split a 1-1 record in both singles and doubles play against Luther and Monmouth College.

 Following a 4-13 record in the 2022-2023 season, the Simpson men’s tennis team is committed to continuous improvement, striving to enhance their skills and performance. 

 “We have been trying our best to get in the best tennis shape we can as a team,”  junior tennis player, Drake Downard, said. “Obviously, it’s very difficult for us to play tennis during the winter with snowy outdoor courts and no free indoor facilities in the area.” 

He emphasized the team’s commitment to conditioning despite winter weather constraints, highlighting the difficulty of finding suitable playing conditions during snowy weather.

The team started their season with a record of 1-1 with their performance at the Luther College dual meet. One of the biggest differences for this team compared to the last couple of years is the number of new players on the roster. Three out of the five athletes are first-year athletes.

“With a couple of players that are new to tennis on the team, I expect myself to be a role model and someone they can go to for questions about tennis or how to conduct themselves on the court,” Downard said. “I believe our biggest strength is our ability to play with one another and always feel that sense of confidence in our teammates.” 

Downard is the oldest and most experienced on the team as a junior.  

“Our goal is to always go to the conference tournament,” Downward said. “As a member of the team, I have never been (to the conference tournament), but the team has in the past, and it is very special.” 

Downard started the season with a singles and doubles record of 1-1. 

“Personally, I want to be able to believe I got better as a player and a teammate and compete with everyone in the conference,” he said.

Much of the focus this season is on improving themselves and their skills.

“I’m always focusing on improving things like my serve, backhand and volleys,”  sophomore tennis player Javier Robles Solis said. “I have been trying to stay calm under pressure or during a bad line call. Body language in tennis is very important.” 

Javier also holds a record of 1-1 in singles and doubles competition.

“Knowing that you are playing another person seems obvious, but is a good reminder when deciding how you treat them during and after the match,” he said.

The team is looking for an outstanding performance in the upcoming season and in the American Rivers Conference tournament. 

“It’s enjoyable being able to represent Simpson on the court,” said Robles Solis. “Unlike most sports, chatter with the opponent is more acceptable, and it’s always nice to get to know your opponent during and after the game.” 

Up next on the schedule for them are matches between Cornell and St. Ambrose College at Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Feb. 24.

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Alex Boyle, Staff Reporter
Caleb Geer, Ad Manager & Website Editor

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