Ichabod tennis team sweeps opening matches

Nathan Miller

Practicing the last few months indoors, the Ichabod tennis team wasn’t sure how playing in an outdoor atmosphere would affect them. But after sweeping both matches this past Friday in Tulsa, Okla., it appeared to have little effect at all.

“We expected to play like this,” said Nathan Martin, junior. “We’ve been practicing hard for two months and everyone has been playing well.”

The Bods defeated Dallas Baptist 9-0 in an early matchup Friday and finished the day with a victory over Oklahoma Wesleyan 9-0. But outside conditions did have somewhat of an effect as a scheduled match with East Central Oklahoma for Saturday morning was cancelled due to weather.

“Playing good teams or bad, playing outside in the wind is an equalizer,” said Jennifer Hastert, head coach. “It will be an uphill climb for us playing outdoors this first week or so.”

The Bods tennis team will have to fare with Kansas wind this weekend as it returns home to play Colorado State-Pueblo Friday, followed by Mesa State and Metro State Saturday.

“We’re excited to play at home,” said Martin. “We only have a few matches at home and hopefully we can get a lot of people to come out and watch.”

Even though this weekend each school looks to be a contender, the Bods will be keying on their last opponent, Metro State, who are in their regional. The Bods defeated Metro State 6-3 last year.

“Metro State will be a big match because they are in our regional,” said Martin. “They were pretty tough last year and played us in a lot of close matches.”

Regional play is important for determining seeds in the regional tournament. A regional tournament victory is something the Bods want and perhaps, as Hastert explains, is a more important goal than defending the MIAA championship.

“That was our goal last year and that is our goal this year,” said Hastert. “But equally, if not more important, is to win the regional so you can go to nationals. Winning the MIAA is great, we’re proud to do it and we want to do it again. Winning in the national tournament is when it really counts and we want to make it to Florida this year.”

Metro State fell to No. 22 Abilene Christian 8-1 Feb. 16 in its first and only action so far this spring season. The Roadrunners finished the fall season 4-0 including a victory over the Bods’ Friday opponent, Mesa State.

The Bods also took on Mesa State this past fall beating them 8-0 on Sept. 27. But no matter whether it’s Mesa or Metro or the top team in the nation, Martin explains the Bods take every match seriously.

“Both teams we played this past weekend were pretty tough,” said Martin. “They are a good warm up for the better teams coming up. But we can’t afford to take anyone lightly.”

The junior class on the Bods tennis team understands the importance of every match after missing out on nationals by one match its freshman year.

The Lady Blues were also in action this past Friday in Tulsa, Okla. Despite being two players short and having to start each match two down, the Lady Blues registered victories over both Dallas Baptist and Eastern New Mexico.

The Lady Blues are also in action at home this weekend with Colorado-State Pueblo Friday, followed by Winona State and Metro State, Saturday.