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Tennis up for a Test

February 14, 2014

The Monmouth College men’s tennis team takes an approach to each season that a lot of programs would hesitate to do. They schedule extremely tough opponents, which according to head coach Chad Braun is due to a philosophy.

“You can’t get better playing bad teams. We could go out and schedule two easy teams and pick up 2 wins, but we wouldn’t get any better from it,” Braun said.

His mantra played out last Saturday as his squad took on two teams currently ranked in the region, Coe College and Elmhurst College, 7th and 13th respectively, at the Clark Racquet Center in Cedar Rapids, IA.

The day started with a matchup with Elmhurst that lived up to their regional ranking that saw Monmouth fall 1-8.

Senior David Johnson was the only person to win a singles match for the Scots, winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. David Stewart won his first set in the match, but dropped the last two going down 6-7, 6-3, 6-3. Marco Franco also battled but lost narrowly 7-5, 2-6, 10-7.

The Scots were swept in doubles and moved on to face Coe College, the home squad. The result wasn’t much different with Monmouth falling 2-7.

Every Scot was defeated in straight sets in individual competition except for Franco, who logged a straight set win 6-1, 6-2.

Stewart and Johnson picked up a huge win in doubles however, beating the 5th ranked doubles team in the region, who is also ranked 25th nationally. The 8-5 win was something that Braun knew they could do. “They didn’t get a chance to play in the fall [Intercollegiate Tennis Association match] together, so they didn’t get a chance to be ranked.”

Ultimately, Braun sticks to his philosophy and knows that the tough times will pay off in the long run.

“You’re able to find your weaknesses and things you can work on. I think that’s something we accomplished this weekend,” Braun said. “We’ve got to find a way to play complete matches and get in a little better shape.”

He also takes an approach that indicates how focused the team is on the end goal: a team Midwest Conference championship.

“It didn’t really matter if we won those matches or not, we’ve got to win the conference to go to Nationals.”

The Fighting Scots already have their name known in the conference. For his singles win against Elmhurst and his part in the doubles win, Johnson was named the season’s first Midwest Conference Performer of the Week.

Ace Henricks
Contributing Writer

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