The Washburn men and women tennis teams spent much of their spring break in Florida competing against some of the best teams in the country.
Although both teams went 1-2, they gained valuable experience they hope will help lead them to another successful conference season.
The men’s team lone win of the week came Monday when the No. 26-ranked Ichabods beat Eckard 6-3. Tuesday, No. 14 Florida Southern got the best of the Washburn men 7-2. Wednesday was another tough matchup as No. 9-ranked Rollins beat Washburn 6-3.
“I was very happy how our team did,” said junior Drew Hanson. “The main goal going down there was to get experience so when we see those teams in May we can actually beat them. And even though we lost those two matches I think we made a statement, saying our team is good enough to beat those teams.”
The women’s team had similar luck, winning its first match of the week Monday against Tampa 5-4. Tuesday and Wednesday saw losses to No. 16-ranked Florida Southern and No. 7-ranked Rollins, 7-2 and 9-0 respectively.
“In the two we lost, we were still pretty pleased with our play in it. Both those teams [Florida Southern and Rollins] were top 15 teams in the nation,” said tennis coach Jennifer Hastert. “Although the overall score didn’t show it, we pushed them pretty hard.”
The three-day road trip in three different Florida cities moved the Washburn men to 5-3 overall and the women to 6-2.
“We went down there to win,” said Hastert. “But equally as important is the experience that we brought back that we can use in the tough matches we have coming up in our own region.”
The Ichabods play 3 p.m. Thursday in Springfield, Mo, against No. 5 Drury. The Lady Blues are back in action 4 p.m. Friday as Nebraska-Omaha comes to Topeka.