Vikings, Lady Vikings tennis open with wins

Steven Evans, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

The Vikings and Lady Vikings tennis teams each recorded 9-0 wins over the Maryville College Scots on Tuesday to open up the 2014 season.

On Wednesday, the Vikings defeated the Covenant College Scots 9-0 while the lady Vikings won 7-2.

Both teams improved to 2-0 after the wins.

                                                                         Chelsea Hoag, Asst. Photojournalism Editor
Vikings number five singles sophomore Mike Tucker hits a forehand during one of his
sets against the Maryville Scots.

The Vikings did not lose a single set and nearly completely swept Maryville across all games, excepting the one game number one singles freshman Inigo Flores lost to the Scot’s number one freshman Koki Agata. Flores went on to win the match in straight sets (6-0, 6-1).

“[The wins were] so exciting,” Flores said. “I don’t think there was much to be improved after these first two games. I think it was good to start out with big victories even if they weren’t very close. I think it was good for our confidence as a team to start out 2-0, and I am very excited about this season. It is a new experience coming from Spain and playing here.”

This year’s team is a relatively young team. It is comprised of three freshmen–two of whom are starters on singles,  four sophomores and three juniors.

“This year we have a deeper lineup, which will help us in conference play,” junior doubles player Jake Pullen said. “We are also a really young team, which will hopefully be a good thing in the long run.”

The Lady Vikings also swept all sets in their matches against Maryville.

Against Covenant, the Lady Vikings’ only losses were at the number six singles position, when freshman Valerie DeWandel lost her match 1-6, 3-6, and at the number three doubles position, when number junior one singles Emma O’Reilly and sophomore doubles player Anna Kate Shepherd lost their doubles match 4-8.

The Lady Vikings also have a relatively young team with six freshmen, three sophomores, one junior and one senior.

“We have an extremely young team,” number three singles senior Caitlyn Smith said. “I am the only senior on both the men’s and women’s teams. I am excited about the season. I think having a young team is good for us. It is good for the future of the program, and I am just eager to get to see how they play and develop as the season goes on.”

The Vikings and Lady Vikings will each return to the courts on Sunday where they will partake in a four day tournament in Orlando, Fla.. The Vikings will play the Eastern University Eagles from Philadelphia, and the Lady Vikings will play the University of Saint Francis Cougars from Fort Wayne, Ind..

“We really cannot predict how the season is going to go just by looking at these couple of matches,” Flores said. “But I certainly think we are going to have a stronger team than last year. First, because everyone is playing very good tennis, and also because every player has moved down a position in the roster. We are all very excited for the season.”

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