Tennis program regroups

Story by Kyle Davis

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While the search for a new head tennis coach continues, the men’s and women’s teams are continuing to prepare for the spring season.

For the men’s team, the captains and seniors will support the team and have talked about helping to set up the winter workouts, whereas the women’s team has assistant coaches Kelsey Stephens and Bruce Anderson, associate professor of political science, to help with scheduling workouts.

Athletic director Dan Harris also will try and get some indoor court time at First Serve in Lawrence to get the team some practice hitting.

He also will be in charge of budget management, completing the schedule and conducting a search for a replacement coach for the teams.

Several of the players on the men’s side will help take up some extra responsibilities, and the team will continue to prepare for the upcoming season.

“I feel very confident that they are motivated to have a good spring season,” Harris said. “I think their attitude is great.”

Harris said it's been a difficult transition for both programs, but he also sees a lot of maturity, and he sees strength of character with team members reiterating the attitude "we'll overcome this." He added the teams also would go through a second transition when a new coach is hired.<br/>While the men's team has two seniors, Hunter Hollarn and Trevor Hedberg, the women's team is young, not having any seniors and only three returners. The team also has eight freshmen and two transfers, Breezy Mangan and Jen Ackerly.While the men's team has two seniors, Hunter Hollarn and Trevor Hedberg, the women's team is young, not having any seniors and only three returners. The team also has eight freshmen and two transfers, Breezy Mangan and Jen Ackerly.
While the men’s team has two seniors, Hunter Hollarn and Trevor Hedberg, the women’s team is young, not having any seniors and only three returners. The team also has eight freshmen and two transfers, Breezy Mangan and Jen Ackerly.

Harris said the men’s team has senior leadership because of members with four years of experience, which is a big advantage. He added they understand the competition, when players have to peak and be ready to play in the spring as well as what’s expected in terms of conditioning to be successful.

The women’s team is practicing four days a week, but the conditioning is supervised for only three of the days.

“(They) are very pumped up,” Anderson said. “They are ready to play some tennis.”

Freshman Laura Caby is looking forward to playing in the spring.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” she said. “It will be kind of neat to see how we compete against other schools that are older and have a lot more experience than we do.”

The women’s team is young but could make some noise this spring.

“We’ve got some great raw talent on this team,” Anderson said. “I think we’re going to surprise some people.”