Lack of experience causes Wildcats’ continued struggle

Despite the team falling to Whitworth University on March 8, the men’s tennis team is finding its footing through the desire of improvement and willingness to work.

While every team faces its own challenges, the Wildcats are working against minor injuries and new players becoming acclimated for the team.

“This team is very young and does not have a lot of match experience,” sophomore Lukas Kleinman said. “It’s difficult losing, but I think we have shown a lot of resiliency and have kept fighting through those challenges.”

There are four freshmen on the team this year, two of which are new this spring.

“We’re starting to put the pieces together and play as a team in our matches,” freshman Alex Mangan said. “I think that another big strength of our team is that we’re a young group that can compete with one another and drive others on our team forward. There’s a lot of flexibility to our team because, for the most part, we’re all pretty close in terms of skill.”

With team members working to push each other, the Wildcats have begun to see improvement.

“The team has really grown in terms of overall skill in my opinion,” Mangan said. “We’re starting to get better in doubles, and we’re all beginning to realize where we belong on the roster and how to fight for every point. I also think that after our last match against Whitworth, we’re making big improvements in terms of playing as a team and putting up a fight in our individual matches.”

The match up with the Pirates on March 8 resulted in a loss, 8-1. The only victory being captured by doubles team, senior Zach Lyons and Kleinman. The doubles team won 8-5.

The Wildcats will play next weekend at home. They will face off with the University of Puget Sound at 4 p.m. March 15 and George Fox University on at 1 p.m. March 16.

“We are learning to fight even when we are down in a match,” freshman Tim Hawkins said. “I think our will to keep fighting, no matter what, is one of our greatest strengths.”


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