Men’s tennis aims to maintain strength

Alexa Block

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The combination of senior leadership and fresh faces has made the men’s tennis team a dominating force on the courts this season. The Boxers have already shown what they are made of standing undefeated in the Northwest Conference. Their success has been accredited to the upperclassman leadership and freshmen bringing their talent to the court.
“We have a ton of senior leadership returning,” said sophomore Troy Zuroske. “This means we have a lot of valuable match experience so when competition is close we will be able to use this to stay confident.”
Returning player Eric Furuya is one of those seniors. He gives credit back to Zuroske.
“Troy returned from one of America’s top tennis academies to add onto his well-decorated game,” said Furuya.
The whole team and staff are excited for Zuroske to be contending for the number-one rank in the Northwest Conference.
Fresh faces to the team but not the game are freshmen Brandon Schlack and Giancarlo Battaglia.
“They are excellent players and will play in the top of our line-up,” said Zuroske.
These two freshmen have experience with the game from high school teams in southern California. They will have a big impact on the team this season, said Furuya.
Those two have many players to look up to, such as senior Spencer Hing, who is in his final season at Pacific. Furuya said Hing’s season will be something to watch. Zuroske also mentioned Hing’s doubles partner Scott Kawamura was one to keep an eye on.
The team has some specific goals that they want to accomplish. Zuroske said the team’s main goal is to end the season winning and to be a major competitor in the Northwest Conference. To do this, the Boxers would need to win against the powerhouse that is the men’s tennis team of Whitman College.
“As a team, we hope to end second or higher in the Northwest Conference,” said Furuya. “Last year we ended at fourth, which was a huge accomplishment for the program, but we were disappointed that we couldn’t get to second.”
The dynamic of the team has changed since last year’s season. The Boxers now have more diversity in their line-up.
“Last year was a successful season,” said Zuroske. “The difference is we have a little more depth in our singles line-up and our captain is back healthy playing well at number two singles right now. I also believe everyone on the team is more confident this year and hungry for some big wins this year.”
There is even more to look forward to with the anticipation of the return of key player sophomore Alen Suklje.
The strong coaching staff has been dedicated to the Boxers health and confidence, and it has shown.
“Coach Jackson is doing an excellent job preparing the team for the big matches and hosting very productive practices,” said Furuya. “This year is the biggest year for our program.”
The Boxers currently stand first in conference at 3-0. Their next game is against Whitworth at 11 a.m. here at the Holce Tennis Courts.
Contributions by Kathleen Rohde.

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