Men’s tennis team grabs fourth straight victory


Even with a bench full of freshmen, the members of the UW-Eau Claire men’s tennis team feel they still have a bright season ahead of them.

“To prove how strong our freshmen class is, some of last year’s players got cut in order for the outstanding freshmen to be on the team,” freshman Jake Znidarsich said.

The leadership from this team comes not only from senior captain Chris Slagle, but from all the other older players, including sophomores Jeff Peterson, Chris Baga and Aaron Nordenskjold.

Blugolds 7
St. Scholastica 0
Up next:
St. Mary’s University, 4:30 p.m. Friday, at Winona, Minn.

“The leaders of this team, albeit young, have helped demonstrate teamwork and effort,” coach Tom Gillman said. “We are coming along nicely and our priority right now is to hold ourselves to high standards, both in practice and in matches.”

Slagle said he was also relatively optimistic about the new players.

“Our young players are stepping up to the challenges they have been faced with and are succeeding in most of their matches,” he said.

Armed with these successful freshmen, the men’s tennis team headed off to compete against Bethel College (Minn.) and the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) Friday and Saturday. The team triumphed over both schools, beating Bethel 7-2 and extending its winning streak to four with a dominating 7-0 victory over St. Scholastica.

No. 1 player Slagle won his first singles match of the year, taking his opponent in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

At the No. 2 spot Nordenskjold picked up his fourth straight win in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. Freshman Tim Eisele dominated at the No. 3 spot, shutting out his opponent 6-0, 6-0.

The Blugolds not only won all six singles matches – they won with authority, only dropping a combined seven sets.

An adversary the team had to overcome for these two dual meets was the injury of Znidarsich.

“(Znidarsich’s injury) will be our first test to see if we can overcome adversity and still play our best tennis possible,” freshman Brandon Buth said.

Clearly stated in their wins this weekend, the Blugold men overcame adversity and played some of their best tennis, he said.

Friday the Blugolds travel to Winona, Minn., to play St. Mary’s University. Gillman said he is optimistic about the young talent that is present on the Eau Claire roster.

“They have to prove over the next several years what kind of ambition they have,” he said. “However, I wouldn’t trade them for anyone else.”