With the fall sports now in full swing, the Washburn tennis teams will look to get in on the action. On Sept. 7 and 8 the men’s and women’s teams will host the Washburn Invitational. For Dave Alden, Washburn head coach, the meet will give him a chance to see his team in real action.
“You can put your players in different match situations but you can’t replicate being in a match,” said Alden.
On the women’s side the Lady Blues must replace seven players who graduated last year. With six incoming freshmen spots on the depth chart are open for grabs.
“Some of our opponents have played on our court more than my own team,” said Alden. “It will be a baptism by fire.”
Washburn still brings back junior Sophie O’Neill and sophomores Casyn Buchman and Rachael Haagerman. O’Neill and Buchman saw extensive action last season for the Lady Blues.
There should be no problem trying to find players to lead the way for the Ichabods. The men’s side will look to dominate this year in the MIAA with a veteran group of players. With plenty of juniors on the team including WU’s No. 1 singles player, Arkadiusz Kozaczuk, the Bods have high expectations.
“This is the year their maturity should show up,” said Alden.
The Washburn Invitational will be the first test for the new 2012-2013 teams. With only two weeks of practice under their belts, both teams will likely have early season struggles. Luckily for Washburn, they’re not the only ones with limited time.
“Good thing is that everybody only gets two weeks of practice,” said Alden.
Washburn will also get the advantage of starting their fall season off at home. For many new players, playing at home can be a comfort.
“Everybody gets to sleep in their own bed and eat familiar food,” said Alden. “It’s good because they can have their friends come out and see them.”