Tennis teams start strong

Story by Kyle Davis

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Occasionally a player will compete against a coach in practice, but rarely does a player have the opportunity to face his coach with a tournament title on the line.

Junior Kyle Cumberland found himself in the final of the Lawrence Tennis Association/Douglas County Closed Tournament and competing against a familiar face, fifth-year senior Michael Angarita. Angarita also happens to be an assistant coach for Baker’s tennis teams.

“Mike is a great player,” Cumberland said. “I have a lot of respect for him.”

Angarita said he enjoys coaching, and he always wants to be involved in tennis somehow.

Cumberland won the tournament, which was played Sept. 27 and Sept. 28. This is his first year at Baker after transferring from Johnson County Community College.

“Kyle is a very disciplined guy,” Angarita said. “He’s a hard worker.”

Cumberland had a first-round bye in the tournament and then won his next match before reaching for and winning the title.

“I was pretty excited,” Cumberland said. “I thought that was a good win for me.”

Angarita said he is looking forward to playing Cumberland again.

The men’s and women’s tennis teams ended their fall seasons Friday against William Jewell College, one of Baker’s biggest rivals, in Liberty, Mo.

The men’s team won the match 6-3, winning two of the three doubles matches and four of the six singles matches. Sophomore Bo Zaputovic, Cumberland, senior Hunter Hollarn and junior Keith Pipkin, who is a transfer from JCCC, all won their singles matches.

The women’s team lost to William Jewell 4-5, winning one of the three doubles matches and three of the six singles matches. The doubles team of freshman Layne Anderson and junior Jen Ackerly, a transfer from JCCC, won its doubles match 8-1. Freshman Laura Caby, Ackerly and sophomore Breezy Mangan, a transfer from Coffeyville Community College, all won their singles matches.

Mangan won her match 6-1, 4-6 and 10-8 in the tiebreaker. She even had to switch courts before the tiebreaker after a water jug was knocked over, spilling water onto the court. Assistant coach Kelsey Stephens said this change did not mess with her concentration, and she fought the whole way through the tiebreaker.

There are 10 new members to the women’s squad and five new members to the men’s team.

“A lot of the girls have not played college tennis,” Anderson said. She added they went out and played their best and that it was good to break the ice.

The Wildcats played six matches, not including the Lawrence Closed Tournament, with two being in Baldwin City, hosting JCCC on Sept. 23 and Emporia State on Oct. 1.

“I really like our team; we’re all pretty close for the most part,” Cumberland said. “My goal is to do whatever I can to help my team.”