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Tennis swings into season: Men’s team begins the year with matches in Moline

February 13, 2015

The two-match season opener offered a learning experience for the Fighting Scots Men’s Tennis team for young players with a weekend score of 1-1.

On Feb. 7, the team traveled to the Quad Cities Tennis club in Moline, Illinois to face the first competition of the season.

In the first match versus St. Ambrose University, doubles teams started slowly but built their momentum to end with a 1-2 score in tight matches. The young players battled back in singles, defeating the Fighting Bees 6-3.

With a mere ten minute break, the Scots returned to the courts to challenge Augustana College, but finished doubles empty-handed and put up two wins at singles at the 3 and 6 spots for a loss of 2-7.

With four freshmen filling the top six lineup, overcoming the obstacle of inexperience is key to pull wins for Monmouth College.

“The most significant disadvantage is overcoming the challenge of having no experience in college tennis, but I know we have the enthusiasm to strive to succeed at the collegiate level,” said freshman Paulo Pliego, a freshman from Longview, Texas.

New Head Coach Brian Jordan found insight in the results: “This weekend confirmed what we had already talked about as a team. We are a young, but talented, singles team. We will continue to work to be better doubles teams throughout this week and probably throughout the month. I feel this weekend showed our men that we can play with good teams. It also gave them confidence in knowing that we can go out and win a match that the men know they should win.”

Players, too, are not discrediting the loss on the courts, but rather taking the experience to apply to this weekend’s matches.

“The most important lesson from last weekend’s matches is to start with the mentality that will get the win,” said Pliego. “We need to be able to take every forced and unforced error in stride, and not let all the bad plays get to our heads.”

Despite challenges, freshman Dylan Wong from Laguana Niguel, California plans to take apply this mindset in future matches.

“We’ve only had two matches under our belt and not a lot of experience, so it will be hard for us to adjust to a new level of play we will be seeing. This is college tennis and you never know what to expect, so we have to be prepared for everything,” said Wong.
The men’s tennis team will travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Feb. 14 to face Buena Vista University at noon and Coe College at 4:00 p.m.

Julianna Graf
Staff Writer

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