This past weekend the men’s tennis team played Grinnell College (14-4, 3-0 MWC) and took on Cornell College (2-11, 0-2 MWC). Despite the cold temperatures, the men’s tennis team played on! Their first opponent, Grinnell, is known for being one of the top competitors, so the Vikings knew the match would be difficult. The Vikings were unsuccessful in securing a win, losing 9-0. However, in the mix of this gloom the Vikings were able to shed some light onto this weekend by giving their next opponents no mercy. The following day, the Vikings played Cornell, which turned out to be a close match. The Vikings won 6-3, ending their weekend on a positive note. Sophomore Cade Francour recounts his own performance, saying “My partner and I were able to come back from losing the first three games in doubles to eventually winning the match 8-6. Singles went well for me too. I won 6-2 in my first match and then again the same score in my second.” Francour stressed that it could have been anyone’s game, saying that, “a few of the matches could have gone the other way.” But the Vikings, by way of determination and focus, were able to pull out a win.
“Cornell was a great win,” commented head coach Steven Francour, “It was a testament to our overall depth. We were strong from top to bottom.” The teamwork and execution of play from athletes Evan Oriel, Matt Chan, Aiden Delgado and Cade Francour, for both single and double matches, helped to carry the team into victory. “Our goal was to have a strong mental effort for each stroke. I would say we accomplished that goal.”
With tough games like Grinnell, athletes need to learn how to cope with negative results in order for it not to affect their future games and in this case, the next game against Cornell, which was just less than 24 hours away. Cade Francour said, “I generally try and refrain from being too nervous about tennis matches and usually attempt to channel that into positive, excited energy before I play.” After a game like Grinnell, he said it is also important to exercise patience. “I really enjoy the opportunity to be on a team and to spend time with, compete with and grow with an outstanding group of people.”
Where is the tennis team heading? Up, up and away! Coach Francour said, “This team is talented and possesses the ability to adapt to many situations. In tennis that is a highly sought-after skill.” The team’s next goal is to focus on improving with each practice and game played, that way, bit by bit, they can climb their way up the conference.