The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Feven Getachew
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Harvey Wilhelm
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Spring break serves as great training for men’s tennis

Emilio Gomez ’15 hits the ball during practice. Photo by John Brady

By Eric Mistry

Grinnell men’s tennis, back from a vigorous training trip in Florida, is ready to push through the rest of the season, looking towards Conference and Nationals as the end of the year draws near. The team, with a current record of 17-8, trained against tough competition in Florida, which Coach Andy Hamilton ’85 thought was good preparation for late season matches.

“We played seven matches in five days, which was very rigorous,” Hamilton said. “Five of the six matches were against competitive teams, which is good for seeing where we are.”

The Pioneers had many standout performances during the trip, according to Coach Hamilton.

Emilio Gomez ’15 hits the ball during practice.
Photo by John Brady

“I continue to be really pleased with Emilio Gomez [’15]. He is quietly developing into one of our top opponents in his position,” Hamilton said.

Other players on the trip also saw success and growth.

“Tracy Johnson [’16], with his partner Colin [Johnson ’13] and with his singles matches, ended up winning the most matches over spring break. He’s a first year and a lefty, and is learning to use his somewhat unusual game to win against good opponents,” Hamilton said.

The spring training trip falls on the midpoint of the season for men’s tennis. The early portion of the season in February and March was devoted to giving players a good deal of experience and determining which members of the team will form the top ladder of the competition squad, while the last part of the season in April is devoted to training for the final competitions.

“We spend the last part of our season in April taking our top group and raising their level to hopefully defend our string of conference championships, and thereby make it to the NCAA tournament,” Hamilton said.

The Conference Championships will be in Madison, Wisconsin on April 28th. The Pioneers plan to send a highly competitive team and continue to bring back the title for the 10th consecutive season.

This weekend will bring matches with Cornell College and Lawrence University; the match against Cornell is a divisional match for the South Division of the Midwest Conference. In the next two weekends, the team will have matches against Coe College, Carleton College, and Luther College, all of which are ranked regionally.

Coach Hamilton also described the future of the men’s tennis team as very hopeful.

“We have a very deep team with a lot of young players; we’re trying to develop them as much as possible,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got good leadership from our older players and everyone is training well.” With their game refined after a productive training trip, the Pioneers are set to finish their season on a strong note.

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