Ichabod tennis teams improve from 2015 rankings

Lisa Herdman

The Ichabod men’s and women’s tennis teams are progressing further than they did in 2015.

The men’s team is ranked 25th in the country, the highest it has been ranked in the past 10 years. The women’s team has surpassed the wins it had from last year and moves into its final games of the semester.

Assistant coach Ryan Joost said that he would venture to say that in Division 2 Washburn has the top teams for both men and women in Kansas.

The tennis teams have nine matches left scheduled for the women’s tennis team and five matches for the men’s before the conference tournaments for both teams after the season. This includes a match that will include the men’s team traveling to Illinois to play Illinois Springfield – a team that men’s team has played competitively before and lost against.

Joost said that for the men’s team the match against Drury was most successful since it beat them for the first time in almost 19 years.

For the women’s team the match against Emporia State was most important since it won against them after two straight losses two years in a row.

Lance Lysaught, the head coach for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams, said that there are only six teams in the conference and right now Washburn is fourth place. Washburn defeated Lindenwood and Emporia State and now just has to play Southwest Baptist and Carnegie College, which are the only two teams Washburn hasn’t played. Washburn is just trying to get seeded as high as possible.

The men’s team just lost a chance to go into nationals due to their last defeat, but still has games to improve its ranking.

“We’re playing a lot of good teams coming up, so we’re trying to get our energy level right,” Lysaught said. “It’s a little bit different feel for our guys. When you’re the underdog you’re kind of going after everybody to get ranked higher.”

Lysaught also said the women have been struggling a bit since they have many more freshmen on the team this year.

“The women are fighting hard and they’re learning a lot and have had a couple heartbreakers you can lose your confidence,” Lysaught said. “So the big thing is that we’re trying to regain our confidence.”

Lysaught mentioned his wish is for Washburn students to participate more in home games. There is a lot of fan participation, including families of the students, parents and kids.

“I would like the WU students to know that their support is hugely appreciated and makes a ton of difference at matches,” Joost said. “Tennis is such a mental sport, and the support from fans can help us win matches or can help push players past their limits.”