TENNIS: Fall season concludes; teams look to spring
As the leaves start to fall, and the air becomes crisp, it is no longer the season to be out on the tennis courts on Mayflower Hill. But don't fret, the Colby men's and women's tennis teams will be back, strong as ever, in the spring. "Overall, we are heading in the right direction," Coach Doanh Wang said. "Both programs got a chance to get a sense of where we stand within the conference as well as in the region." The teams will continue to practice over the winter in the field house to improve their game for the spring season.
"The men are at a place where we do have a lot of work ahead of us," Wang said. "Nothing is going to come easy this season. Last year we had the luxury of several experienced and high level players to get us points in duals. This year, we are going to really have to work to earn the points. I am very curious to see who is going to step up and take some of the burden of the program on his shoulders," Wang said of the men's team. Wang looks to the off-season to see who is going to work hard on and off the court. While Wang will not have the opportunity to work with the athletes due to New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rules, Wang is relying on the athletes to find the motivation and fire within each individual to improve his game. "I have no doubt that each of the members of the men's program can get better, and the off-season is the perfect time for that!" Wang said.
Watch out for Bobby Post '11 in the spring. Post really stepped up, taking on a leadership role for the team despite being a Junior. "All in all, the fall season was a good opportunity to learn for our very young team," Post said. In addition, Wang looks forward to next year. "We have several quality recruits that have Colby on their short list," Wang said. "Hopefully, we can convince them that Colby is the place where they will thrive in the classroom and on the tennis court."
The past two weekends showed that the women's program has the ability to do great things in the spring. With a core group of upperclassmen, mixed with some exciting new freshmen, the women's team is strong. Between the matches at Wheaton College and Simmons College over Fall Break at the New England Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament (NEWITT) last weekend, every single person the team earned at least one win in either the main draw or the consolation round. The NEWITTs were a grueling battle where the women's team spent from 8 a.m. until midnight in the Mt. Holyoke College field house on Friday, October 16. "The women have made significant strides this fall," Wang said. "We beat some very solid teams and got good performances from everyone that competed. I think we have set the stage for a really successful spring because we dedicated ourselves to our competition and practices so well this fall," Audrey Jacobson '10 said. Wang is also excited about the years to come for the women's team. "What is exciting is that five of the team members that competed this weekend were either sophomores or first years," he said.
The teams have captains and informal practices from now until mid-February. They will start the spring season with dual matches. The team will also travel to Hilton Head Island, SC during spring break to play matches against schools from all over the country. "Looking ahead, we hope to build on our success from last year by keeping our fitness up in preparation for a grueling spring," Caroline Reaves '10 said.
So, with the tennis courts covered in that white fluffy stuff and Wang out of the picture, it is up to the men and women of the Colby tennis teams to keep their feet moving, their tennis rackets from getting cold and that fire of desire in their hearts aglow.