Men’s tennis advances in ODACs

KELLIE LAGOY
Staff Writer

The men’s tennis team started their journey to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday with a win in the quarterfinals against Roanoke College. With this victory, the team has sealed a place in the semifinals on April 26 against Guilford College, and are looking to bring the championship title home for the first time in program history.
“I think this win gives us a lot of confidence,” said sophomore Spenser Bullock. “The teams that we did lose to during the regular season were really tough opponents.”
The only loss Wesleyan faced in the ODAC was to nationally-ranked Washington and Lee University.
“I think that match isn’t totally relevant anymore,” said sophomore Drew Tomajczyk. “We were all kind of ‘off’ for that match, probably due to lack of preparation.”
The other three losses came from Christopher Newport University, Illinois-based Knox College and Ohio-based Otterbein University.
“I think it’s good that the only matches we’ve lost so far are to nationally-ranked teams,” said sophomore Graham Wilson.
The Marlins are more than ready to fight in this tournament and look to put it all on the line to try to gain their first conference title in VWC history.
“That’s what everyone on our team is shooting for and I think we’ll get there,” said Bullock.
“We’ve come a long way through the whole season,” said Tomajczyk, “I expect to make it to the finals and to draw blood from Washington and Lee.”
After last season, there was a coaching change and new freshmen were brought in. This has given this men’s team a spark that doesn’t seem to be about to go away.
a lot more confident in their abilities, which translated into better on-court play,” said Bullock.
Head Coach Darryl Cummings has brought life to this once-struggling program, and has been very instrumental in the success of the team.
“I was aware of the talent level within the program, and believed there was significant opportunity to develop the program,” said Cummings.
He not only has whipped his old players into shape, but also has brought in key freshmen to rise to the occasion. These freshmen cracked the top six line-up, and the older teammates have appreciated their much-needed talent.
“Our incoming freshmen have helped tremendously,” said Wilson.
Kenneth Downing and Brendan Kelleher are two freshmen who have really shown talent on the court. The pair is consistently part of the line-up both in doubles and singles. The players all have high expectations of every person on the roster as post-season play begins.
“I am sure they will have a lot of energy and will represent Virginia Wesleyan College well,” said Cummings.
“We’ll definitely have to be on our A-games,” said Tomajczyk “We can’t take our opponents for granted.”

“I think we all have to come out there and play our best tennis,” said Wilson.

The new freshmen, the new coach and the consistent play of everyone on the team have given the team a second seed going into the ODAC tournament. With expectations and confidence high, they are on track to succeed.

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