This past Saturday, the women’s tennis team slayed Midland University with a 9-0 win, with big help from the newly added first-years. With four of the top eight players abroad right now, the key to the team’s success this semester relies on the four new teammates.
Head Coach Anthony Weber is extremely excited about the new additions to the team and says they all bring something unique to the table.
“Annie Zlevor (currently No. 3 singles), has great tennis instincts, anticipates well, and will help a bunch in doubles. Madi Doerre (currently No. 2 singles) is a solid overall player and she can finish in doubles and doesn’t miss much in singles,” Coach Weber said. “Kendal McGinnis (currently No. 5 in singles) has a big game, huge forehand and serve. If she works hard this year, it’ll pay off in big ways for the team. Simone Hall (currently No. 6 in singles) is a walk-on from Wash. She is very consistent, but has power in her game when necessary and is looking to compete for a spot in the lineup this spring.”
The men’s team also added a couple new first-years—Christian Kitchen and Daniel Holland, who have made a huge difference in the doubles games.
“Tennis courts in Colorado are difficult to maintain, so we’re appreciative that CC was able to resurface them this year!” Coach Weber said of the new courts the team acquired this year. CC added quick start lines to the courts as well, which will help them put on more tennis events for the community, according to Weber.
Even with new players and new courts, Weber believes the overall records for both the men’s and women’s team will be very similar to last year. Weber says it’s primarily a function of having to compete against many of the local DII programs in the RMAC.
“With that being said, we’ve upgraded the women’s schedule this year by playing at DI University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State as some of our first matches of the spring,” Coach Weber said.
With this intensified level of play, there are new goals for the season. On the women’s side, they are trying to move up their regional ranking and get into a discussion for a national ranking. The girls team finished as #16 in the West region last year.
“After making a trip to our first conference final last year, that is the goal once again this season,” Coach Weber said. “We’ll be trying to accomplish this with four freshmen, five sophomores and two juniors…a very young, exciting team.”
As for the men’s team, the goal is to finish in the top half of the conference, and, according to Coach Weber, the guys have already exceeded his expectations for the year in their first three matches.
“We’ve had much improved doubles play, and have a higher baseline to build from,” Coach Weber said. “Many don’t realize that we were one of only 39 teams across DI, DII, and DIII to have both the men’s and women’s programs recognized as Academic All-American Teams last spring…Academic goals are very important too.”
Some smaller goals for the season include having high energy at the beginning of all matches.
“In college, you start with three doubles matches, where there are quick points, and you have to be moving right off the bat,” Coach Weber said. “The match is one set to eight, so you can’t get down or it’s very difficult to come back.”
Weber claims the men are also working on serves and returns, closing the net in doubles and point construction in singles. On the female side, they are focusing on being able to return moon balls, as well as serves, returns, and movement patterns in doubles.
Coach Weber is extremely excited for this year. “Every season brings ups and downs, new situations, and is such a tremendous learning experience for the kids on the team and for us as coaches,” he said. “It’s great to see how much reward comes from their hard work and the camaraderie that comes from competing on a team.”
When the players abroad return to CC, it will be a whole new team. For now though, Weber says it’s been great to have the first-years get quality practice and tough matches to start their college careers, and he can’t wait to get a better look at their potential this coming weekend with their tough matches in Grand Junction.