Tennis teams wrap up seasons

Bradie Gray

Both of the USI men’s and women’s tennis teams battled through a tough 2013-2014 season.

The men, however, managed to come out on top.

“I’m surprised that we were 18 and 7,” Men’s tennis coach Chris Crawford said. “We didn’t play up to our potential this year.”

The men’s team earned a 5-3 Midwest Region victory against the University of Missouri-St. Louis. and ranked fourth in the NCAA Division II Men’s Tennis Midwest Region.

The lone senior on the team, Santiago Lopez, and sophomore Jack Joyce earned All Great Lakes Valley Conference Men’s Tennis Honors and the team as a whole placed third in the GLVC match.

As far as recruitment for next season goes, Crawford says that the men will be a completely different team next year.

“I expect us to be one of the best, if not the best team in our conference next year,” Crawford said.

The women’s team won 8 of their 23 matches this season. After a five match losing streak, the team earned a 7-2 victory over Great Lakes Valley Conference foe, Saint Joseph’s College at the Evansville Tennis Center.

“We were not as productive as I was hoping to be.” Women’s tennis coach Keely Porter said, “We had a lot of talent and a very young team. We struggled after spring break with keeping our practices consistent because we really do play like we practice.”

The women closed out an 8-14 season with two 9-0 shutouts.

Porter’s goal for next year is to make a conference tournament.

“I think I have been here for 24 years and this is the second year that we haven’t made it to a conference tournament,” said Porter.

The 24th ranked men will continue their season Saturday against Wayne State University during the opening round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Region #1 Tournament.