Despite there still being snow on the ground, the Lawrence University Men’s tennis team’s season is already underway. They kicked off competition season against Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) on February 5th and they were back in action this past Friday, February 10th against the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
The team started out strong with a 7-2 win against MSOE. On the singles side of the competition, senior David Jumes won the No. 1 singles match 6-3, 6-4. Junior Bill Schuman-Kline won the No. 2 match 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-3) and sophomore David Brooker won the No. 6 singles match 6-2, 6-4. The Vikings also picked up victories in the No. 3 and No. 4 singles matches by two rookies as freshman Cade Francour won 6-1, 6-3 and freshman Aidan Delgado won 6-4, 6-2. Lawrence added two more victories in the doubles competition as the teams of junior Izaya Turenne and Brooker and Francour and freshman Connor Maloney were victorious. Getting a win is always an exciting thing for the team, but winning the first match of the season was a strong confidence boost for the team.
The first home competition for the team, played at Fox Valley Racquet Club due to the cold February Wisconsin weather being incompatible with playing tennis, was much more difficult. The Vikings were only able to pick up three victories against the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Jumes won a very close and hard fought match at No. 1 singles 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-7). Schuman-Kline picked up the other singles victory at the No. 2 position 6-3, 7-5. The two then teamed up and won the No. 1 doubles match 8-6.
“The first two matches have gone well. We’ve had better records in both matches than we did last year against the same opponents. Our team is really deep this year and we have a lot of drive to de well. It has really come out in our first two matches” reflected sophomore Kieran Laursen.
Overall, the team is happy with their performances, but they know that there is still a long way to go and a lot of work to do. Conference play, the all-important matches that determine who goes to the conference tournament, the top four teams, begin in April. “We are definitely looking to make it to team conference” said Laursen. The team made the conference tournament last year as the number four seed and they are looking to improve upon that performance.
“The season is long and tough, especially getting to the end when the all-important conference matches are happening, but we always do it. Spring break helps to break up the season when we go to Florida and play some matches down there as a team. When we come back, we really start to dig into the meat of the season with the conference matches, but really the thing that keeps us going is that we want to win and we all want to get better. We push each other as a team. Its really a great group of guys,” said Laursen. The Vikings hope to use these next few weeks to really improve so they can play their best tennis when the conference season rolls around. Lawrence is back in action February 17th when they go up against Concordia of Wisconsin at 7 p.m.