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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Tennis teams show promise as fall season heats up on the courts

The season is already underway for the Guilford College men’s and women’s tennis teams, and it is shaping up to be a good one.

According to head tennis coach Dave McCain, the season is split between seven weeks in the fall and 12 weeks in the spring. Some coaches choose to only have a spring season, but as McCain said, “Most good teams play in the fall.”

“In the fall, we see what we have for first-years, see how they’ll do, (and) we work out (the) doubles team for the rest of the season,” said Allison Hewitt, a sophomore singles and doubles player. “Coach will move us around sometimes to see which doubles team works better.”

And Guilford’s team is looking great.

“I have a great group of players and people. This is probably the easiest team I’ve coached in a long, long time and this is probably the easiest team to get along with,” said McCain in regards to both the men and the women. “They’re good people and they’re trying really hard; the effort level is terrific. I’m very happy with my team this year. I haven’t always said that.”

At the end of September, the men’s team played at Emory University in Atlanta.

“We played the ITA tournament — which is the International Tennis Association Tournament — at Emory University. We competed in a singles bracket and a doubles bracket,” said Turner Votipka, sophomore and award-winning tennis player.

“I was the only person to win our first round match, and we had three guys win their second round in the consolation bracket,” said Votipka. “Another guy made it to the semi-finals in the consolation brackets, so it was good.”

McCain said that the ITA is very tough. Six of the Quakers each competed against a player from Emory, whose team is the top men’s team in the nation, but they still held their ground.

“I think our men’s team is solid all the way through,” said McCain. “We’ve actually got 12 guys that could interchange into the top six. I think we’re probably going to be about like last year, maybe a little stronger.”

Votipka is also hopeful about the men’s team, even though lots of them are first-years.

“We have a really young team but it’s all pretty level all the way down,” said Votipka. “We’ve got some pretty good freshmen, so hopefully we can all hold our own (and) just keep improving. We should probably be as good, if not better, than last year.”

Women’s tennis also looks promising this year.

“I think we will do a lot better than last year,” said Hewitt. “We are a lot stronger than we were last year. We added three first-years onto the team and they’re good assets.”

“They have two really good first-years and another first-year that plays doubles pretty well,” said Votpika about the newcomers. “And we have a first-year that might be playing in our number one spot, but now she’s playing our two, which is good.”

After this pre-season, the tennis team has a tough schedule for the 2012–13 year. The men’s team is playing two Division I teams — Liberty University and The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina — as well as a couple of Division II schools.

“Our guys finished third in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference last year, and the women finished fifth,” said McCain. “You kind of have to have schedules that reflect where they play. We want to have a good season and some of the matches we’ll lose, but what you’re really preparing for are the ODAC tournaments. ODAC might look a little easier after you play Liberty and The Citadel.”

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