The men’s tennis team is going through some rough times of late with injuries hindering the squad’s performance. This week the guys dropped a few conference matches, lowering the team’s overall record to 2-8 and 0-5 in conference play. Though their record may not reflect it best, the team’s confidence in themselves is high.
“The men’s team has battled through some injuries and roster shake ups but continues to fight hard and stay positive against a very tough schedule,” said head coach Adam Albertsen. “I feel we have improved dramatically in our doubles play and continue to work on closing out singles matches. Our conference season has not gone the way we hoped but with a high number of returning players we look to use the rest of the season as a learning experience and build upon it for next year.”
This past week, Adrian faced off with Albion on April 5, Alma on April 7, and Trine on April 11, losing all three matches 9-0. Injuries that have really hit the team hard include key players freshman Ryan Delacey and junior Cameron Hamilton, both on the doubles team.
“Each match we are looking to improve and compete to the highest level possible. With the way the guys are playing currently, I look for us to finish on a high note as we close out the season,” said Albertsen.
Up against Albion, no real threat arose from the Bulldogs as they were overwhelmed in each match.
“We have been struggling a little bit right now, but it is mainly because we have a few injuries on the team from some key players. Besides the injuries, we have been playing well and we hope to get a couple more wins to finish the season,” said Hamilton.
The guys realize that their struggle is only temporary. Being a young team as they are right now is never an easy task to compete with the other schools.
“This is really a transition year for us. There are a few things Coach [Albertsen] expects for next year. One is some good recruiting and the second is hard work put in through the summer to make our next season a much better one,” said sophomore Tom Smendzuik.
Although AC could not catch a break against Albion, the doubles team was able to put up a great fight against Alma.
The only signs of life that the Bulldogs showed was in the efforts of the doubles teams. The doubles team, consisting of Hamilton and freshman Alex Hodren were able to go 8-5 in their match and doubles team sophomore Ron Hilliard and sophomore Drew Schultz were also able to get a final tally of 8-5.
The slump continued when the team traveled to Trine last night. The Bulldogs put forth great efforts, but in the end it was all in vain. Adrian lost to the Thunder 9-0. The loss to Thunder was the team’s sixth consecutive loss, and dropped the team’s overall record to 2-8 and conference record to 0-5.
The guys have a couple tough meets coming up soon including Capital on April 15 and Calvin, a conference opponent, on April 17. The Bulldogs seem optimistic in the next few meets that approach the end of their season. They hope for a couple wins to end the season with a bang and strive for a better start for next year.
With only three matches remaining before the end of the regular season the men’s tennis team knows how crucially important each match is. Now more than ever, they know preparation will be key to how their season ends. Practice over the summer and with hopes of recoveries of injured teammates, the future of this Bulldog tennis team is full of optimism.