Proving that solid effort doesn’t always translate into positive outcomes on the court, the Linfield men’s tennis team completed the 2014 season craving more.
“We didn’t meet our own standard of excellence in terms of winning dual matches,” said coach Carl Swanson. “The team dealt with adversity and played hard and improved as tennis players. However, the team goal is to win a conference championship.”
The Wildcats went without a victory, going 0-14, including 0-12 in the Northwest Conference.
A lack of depth and some unfortunate injuries prevented Linfield from being in position to clinch victories over its conference rivals. Two potential contributors were sidelined before the season started, leaving Swanson with just six players to fill out the lineup. Several times during the season, the Wildcats competed in matches with just five athletes due to injury or academic obligations.
Micah Roos, Lukas Kleinman, Kelsey Rosborough and Tim Hawkins were Linfield’s most consistent performers.
Kleinman and Rosborough carved out four doubles wins together while Hawkins and Roos paired for three.
“Lukas and Kelsey were competitive at the top spot in doubles and won half their matches in conference play,” said Swanson. “Tim and Micah finished the season with a win on the road and had two big wins on our California trip over doubles teams on regionally ranked teams.”
Kleinman was the Wildcats’ most successful singles player against conference opponents, picking up two victories.
“Kelsey was close to breaking through in numerous matches and was our most consistent performer in singles in terms of battling from start to finish every match he played. Kelsey was also our nominee for the all-NWC Sportsmanship Team.”
Newcomer Alec Wisthoff dealt with lingering arm and ankle injuries all season, yet still managed to score a conference win in singles.
Though they took their lumps against stronger clubs, the Wildcats gained immeasurable experience to should bode well for the future.
“We have a foundation to build up from and the influx of returning and new players will give us the spark and winning attitude we want to take into every match next season in order to reach our goal,” said Swanson.