This week, I sat down with senior tennis player Bill Schuman-Kline. Schuman-Kline is the lone senior and has had the opportunity to watch some immense growth from his squad. The Vikings are heading into the Midwest Conference Championship this weekend as underdogs. Here at The Lawrentian, we wish them the best of luck.
Arianna Cohen: The team is third in conference. The Midwest Conference projected you to end fifth. What have been the keys to the team’s success?
Bill Schuman-Kline: The MWC has been projecting us to finish low each of the last three years, and this year, we knew we had a great group of guys going into the season. We just kept working hard in practice and in the weight room and tried not to let injuries or tough matches get us down. We’ve been very resilient all year.
AC: What is the vibe from the players right now?
BSK: We know what to expect [at the conference tournament] and how different the atmosphere is. Now that we’ve made it again we have to keep working and not get complacent.
AC: You will play Lake Forest in the opening round of the tournament. Coming off of a 7-2 loss in your last match-up, what will the team do differently in the semis?
BSK: Losing to Lake Forest was tough, but we were also playing outside for the first time all year, which was a big shift, and we move indoors for conference. We know we can hit with them, and we just have to remain focused and grind out every point, and hopefully, we’ll get the better of them.
AC: Unfortunately, Appleton has been a victim of some gnarly snowfall. As a senior, how has it felt not really getting to play on your home court?
BSK: It’s been a little disappointing for sure, not getting to play on our home courts, but Fox Cities Racquet Club has been great to us all year, so it’s grown to feel like another home court for us.
AC: What has been your favorite part of your final season?
BSK: My favorite part of this year has been seeing everyone grow—both as tennis players and as people. There were a lot of questions heading into the season, and everyone has really stepped up.
AC: Any words you want to say to the underclassman?
BSK: Keep putting in the work both on and off the court, then fight damn hard every point.