By Luke Mich
While both Bearcat tennis teams were among the most recent teams to have played pre-pandemic in 2020, the teams did not face as much luck this season. With the exception of the track teams (which started later due to a preceding cross-country season this semester) and golf teams, the tennis teams were the last to start play this semester, with their opening matches occurring March 20.
Sophomore tennis player Evan Ray, an accounting and finance major, discussed the current season.
“Our first match was against Geneva, [which] we won 6-3. We have nine regular season matches,” Ray said.
The only difference between men’s and women’s tennis is that the women’s team plays one less regular season match, along with some scheduling changes.
The 2021 season started far later than usual. Last school year, which followed the normal schedule, the men’s team started play in late February, while the women’s team began play in fall, with their first match in August of 2019.
The initial plan for this school year was for both teams to have their seasons occur during the fall semester.
“We started training for this season when we got back on campus this fall. During the fall, we trained three days a week,” Ray stated.
Plans for a fall season were soon axed, however, and the season got pushed to the spring. And as the spring approached, practices became more frequent.
“Since mid-February we have been practicing every day to prepare for the spring season,” Ray said.
Like most SVC sports this year, all matches are against teams in the conference, which limits the amount of matches they will play this season. Another similarity is the COVID-19 measures put in place.
“We get randomly selected from the Athletic Department every week to get tested for COVID-19. We also have to wear masks and social distance while playing and practicing,” Ray concluded.
With both teams coming off a win at the time of this publication, they will hope to keep the wins coming this week. The women’s team awaits their first playoff opponent later this week, while the men’s team plays their last regular season match on Thursday, April 22 against Waynesburg.