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Tennis looks ahead to fall: Men face close losses to finish in second behind Grinnell

May 1, 2015

The Monmouth College men’s tennis team ended their season with three full days of competitive play. Friday, April 24, the team traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to challenge Lake Forest in the last regular season match of the spring before starting the Midwest Conference Championship tournament.

After battling the Foresters on unfamiliar terrain at the Nielsen Tennis Center, the Scots fell 4-5, but not without successes from the end of the Monmouth lineup. Marco Franco, Dylan Wong and Paulo Pliego all clinched their singles matches versus Lake Forest, boosting confidence for the next two days of competitive play.

The next morning, Scots returned to the Nielsen Tennis Center to vie for their chance at the Midwest Conference Championship trophy.

While no blue ribbons were brought back to Monmouth College, Franco, Wong and Pliego all battled their ways into the championship matches at the four, five and six varsity spots.

Determined game play over the weekend gave Head Coach Brian Jordan confidence that next season’s lineup will be a strong contender for the 2016 Midwest Conference Championship.

“I think it was a good learning experience for us because no one who played in our lineup is going to be graduating. We’ve got the upper hand when it comes to returning all six players,” said Jordan. “We’re really the only team in the conference that was in the team championship that’s either going to still be in the conference after next year or still have the majority of their team from this year.”

By setting goals to improve upon doubles, the Scots already have their attention focused on the court for next season.

“We’ve grown a lot this season. This was the first year that we’ve ever been clearly a better singles team than doubles team,” said Jordan. “I think that we definitely proved that at conference this year. We had all six of our guys who lost in conference lose to the guy who won the championship. If you’re not going to make it to the championship, at least lose to the person who did.”

“For next year, I would like to win the singles and doubles championships at the conference tournament. I came close this year but fell a little short to Grinnell,” said Wong. “I will work very hard on all parts of my game over the summer and train hard with the guys in the preseason when I come back to Monmouth.”

The men’s tennis team completed their 2016 with a 15-9 record.

Julianna Graf
Courier Staff Writer

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