Tennis set for four-day marathon

Sam Sayler

From March 4-6, both the men’s and women’s Washburn University tennis teams must run the gauntlet of facing three straight days of matches at home, with the men’s team playing an additional match March 7. Both teams are doing everything they can to prepare for the marathon event.

“We practice really hard every day,” said senior Lady Blue Trang Le Nguyen. “We have won a game and lost a game. We go out every game and play with honor. We put our hearts out. There are only a few of us, so we are not allowed to get sick. We just have to believe that we can do it. We all want to win our conference this year.”

Dave Alden, coach of both the Ichabods and Lady Blues, said his teams have what it takes to make it through three day’s worth of competition successfully.

“We hit tennis balls for an hour and thirty minutes each practice, then we do conditioning for an hour by lifting, running and practicing our footwork.”

Coach Alden also delves into how to prepare mentally for the teams’ lengthy contests.

“We talk every practice about mental toughness and how to overcome failure,” said Alden. “If we miss a point, we need to quickly shake it off and get the next point. We have to rebound. I think, last year, we were the only Ichabod team undefeated in our conference, and we would like to do it again this year.”

The Ichabods and Lady Blues play home matches against the University of Nebraska-Kearney March 4, Rockhurst University March 5, and Newman University March 6. The men’s team plays the University of Illinois at Chicago March 7.