While many Washburn teams are already into their main seasons, the Ichabod tennis team has the privilege to play non-competitively until the beginning of October. The team is giving their full effort to prepare themselves for the spring when the main season takes charge.
The squad has undergone some changes in coaching staff. Last May, former Ichabod tennis player Lance Lysaught was announced Washburn head tennis coach for women’s and men’s after he had been coaching at Ottawa University, a couple hours away from Topeka.
Lysaught returned to his birthplace with his wife and six children to replace Dave Alden, who resigned at the end of last season. The Washburn tennis team has an ultimate goal of bringing the squad to Division I level competition through the sequence of tournaments starting with ITA National Tournament, and win the Nationals.
Knowing Lysaught’s background, it is easy to see his goals can be accomplished. Lysaught organized the Ottawa tennis team from the scratch after its long absence since the ‘90s and supervised all the aspects beginning with practices at the local park and ending with creating a training program for both tennis teams. Now, the coach greatly enjoys the assistance at Washburn, which seems to take a huge weight off his shoulders.
“We have a great facility and fantastic courts here on campus where I’m excited to teach, even if I have to run two different practices every day,” said Lysaught.
In addition to the resources available for the tennis squad on campus, the team also practices indoor at Topeka’s Wood Valley Racquet Club, which will soon be renovated with a $7 million budget, which means that tennis players will have the nicest facility in the conference.
The team has a diversity of international students such as a junior Dario Munoz-Poletti from Paraguay and two juniors from Germany, Martin Wieand and Thilo Schlenker, sophomore Maria Carretero and junior Nzingha Banks. The Ichabods also have a transfer from Ottawa University, sophomore Matt Barlow, who came along with Lysaught.
“We are looking forward to the new and interesting season ahead of us and are excited to fully prepare for it,” said Lysaught.