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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Men’s Tennis ranked nationally for the first time in school history


By Papa Kojo Ampim-Darko

The men’s tennis team has been ranked nationally for the first time since the program’s inception, and is looking to build up this momentum moving forward in the season.

Head tennis coach Paige Madara was quick to praise her team’s drive and commitment. “This has been a great accomplishment for this team and a testament to our team’s hard work, especially our upperclassmen who have been building towards this goal for many seasons,” she said. “This is a team that has put in the hard work day after day in practices, in the weight room, and on the court working together as a team to continue to develop our on court skills and team support. The energy and support in our team matches has helped this team to win close matches as the team is genuinely supporting each other and providing that extra motivation to win for the team.”

Ben Cobin ‘20 also expressed excitement at having hard work and motivation recognized: “We’ve worked really hard for the past three years, and had some tough matches and some good wins. And in the past two years, we finally beat two nationally-ranked teams. And it’s great to see that recognition of our success.”

Cobin also noticed the team dynamics lauded by Madara and said the doubles performances had been crucial to the team’s success.

“I think that comes from a lot of practicing doubles … and also comes from some really strong bonds between teammates,” he said. “A big part of doubles is learning how to play with your partner, to be an effective team. … [The] doubles teams have improved a lot since the start of two seasons ago. [They’ve] built on what they know, and they know that they’re good at this game.”

The team recently returned from their annual spring break trip to Florida where they won five of their six matches, including a victory over nationally-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology. “Spring break was a great trip for us to play outdoor tennis against six tough teams, many of which were either ranked or were NCAA teams last year. We enjoyed great weather and sunny tennis days and lots of great team bonding throughout the week,” Madara said.

Cobin was named Midwest Conference Men’s Tennis Performer of the week for the second time during his time at the College, after putting on a number of strong displays in Florida. “It means a lot to me to see that recognition. … I was fighting really hard for my team. And it definitely showed as a whole, not just my efforts, but our team as a whole too,” said Cobin.

Looking forward to the season, the team hopes to maintain their momentum. “Our focus now is to keep getting better and developing through April in hopes of competing for another MWC team title and a spot at the NCAA team tournament,” Madara said.

Cobin shared similar aspirations. “I think the number one thing is making sure we can make conference. … This would be the 16th year in a row that we won conference, if we win, [and] going back to Nationals would be really good for us, especially after that national ranking to prove that we deserve it,” he said.

Men’s Tennis will play Luther College on Sunday, April 7. The matches begin at 2 p.m. at the 10th Avenue courts.

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