Tennis teams set for conference play

Richard Kelly

As they returned from their slew of matches, it wasn’t that Dave Alden was necessarily disappointed in his teams’ performances, but a Spring Break full of tennis sure gave them all they could handle.

After a long, enduring trip that gave both Washburn men’s and women’s tennis some tough matches, they now return to begin their conference schedule.

The tough road of matches began at home for the men’s team the Thursday prior to spring break, as they took on Cameron University losing that match 3-5. The men and women then both played that Friday in Topeka versus Ferris State, where the men decisively picked up a 5-0 victory and the women fell 3-5.

Following those matches, Alden and his teams traveled to play four matches in the next five days, all of which took place in Texas.

Alden knew the matches were going to be against tough opponents even before the trip began.

“I think that the level of competition we see down there pretty consistently is as good if not better than what we’ll see in our own conference,” said Alden.

Traveling to Wichita Falls, Texas, Midwestern State gave the men’s team a fight before Washburn pulled off a 5-4 victory, while the women came just short of a victory in a 5-4 loss.

After a day off and now playing in Dallas against Dallas Baptist, the matches were tough for the women’s team as they fell 5-2, but the men were able to come up with a 9-0 victory.

The following two days, it was to San Antonio, where the women won 5-1 over St. Mary’s University (Texas), a feat equalled by the men. The last match of the trip, which was scheduled to be second to last before the last match was canceled, saw the University of the Incarnate Word pulling off a 5-4 victory over the men and an 8-1 win over the women.

After returning from the trip, Alden felt like the women had the opportunity to win a few matches they didn’t, but was overall pleased with their effort.

“There were a couple matches we lost that were tough ones, which were 5-4. We didn’t play good doubles. But I think for as tough as the doubles matches were, we came back and we fought to give ourselves an opportunity to win,” said Alden.

Senior Trang Le Nguyen led the way for the women’s side, going undefeated over the matches beginning with Ferris State while senior Branden Joost won all matches but one beginning with Cameron University and fellow senior Adam Rens won all of his singles matches.

Alden knew his men’s team was close to victory on a couple matches as well that they couldn’t pull off.

“The men’s matches, I think both of those losses were well-played matches. We had opportunities to win both.”

But Alden got what he wanted out of the trip and knows this was big before the conference matches began.

“Now we got out of the trip what I wanted, which was a lot of high-level, good tennis. It really sets the stage for us to go in and be ready for our conference schedule for sure,” he said.

The conference schedule begins for Washburn with matches against Southwest Baptist at Kossover today.