Men’s tennis picks up first win of the season

Team goes 1-1 against Illinois competition

Story by Becky Olson, Copy Editor

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Being able to play back to back matches means having the chance to fix previous mistakes.

Friday afternoon, the UW-Eau Claire men’s tennis team lost its first doubleheader match but managed to bounce back, picking up its first win of the season later in the day at the Centre Court Athletic Club in Hanover Park, Illinois.

The Blugolds lost to Wheaton College 2-7, winning only two singles matches and losing all three of the doubles matches.

Freshman Josh Chuba won his singles match in two sets with a score of 6-4 and 6-3 while freshman Conrad Felton took three sets to win with a score of 1-6, 7-5 and 10-5.

Head coach Tom Gillman said pressure is not something he wants on his players.

“I think the biggest thing we can do to the players early on is keep the game simple,” Gillman said. “Don’t put pressure on them and we’re trying to make sure they don’t put a lot of pressure on themselves. We’re trying to focus on some mental approaches and some specific approaches on the doubles court that can help them improve their performance.”

In the match against Judson University, Eau Claire won five out of the six singles matches and all three of the doubles matches. In the singles matches, freshman Will Weyenberg won his match 6-3, 6-1 and sophomore Nathan Tretsven defeated his Judson opponent 6-0, 6-0.  On the doubles court, seniors Ryan Vande Linde and Joe Meier won 8-2, Chuba and sophomore Kyle Hoffman won their match 9-7 and freshmen Michael Mauthe and Austin Auleta won with a score of 8-0.

Vande Linde said he went into his second singles match with a clean mind on his new opponent.

“I was pretty upset after losing my first match. It was a pretty close game,” Vande Linde said. “I think that the biggest adjustment that I made was calming down, playing more patiently and just not letting the loss affect me and focusing on the match at hand.”

Although the doubleheader was only the third match of the season for the Blugolds, Gillman said the team’s depth helped them get their first win.

“We have a pretty deep team really against everyone so far this year and we were able to take advantage of Judson’s lack of depth, so I think that was probably the biggest factor,” Gillman said.

Vande Linde said the team is concentrating hard on cleaning up their game moving forward.

“I think just improving our play in general, improving our chemistry is always something that we look to do,” Vande Linde said. “Our end of the year goal is to always make the NCAA tournament. But I think right now we’re just focusing one match at a time and just looking to get better every single weekend.”

The doubleheader brings Eau Claire’s record to 1-2.  The Blugolds compete in another doubleheader at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday against Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) and Hamline University (Minn.) in Gustavus.