By David Parker
Despite being plagued by injuries, the men’s and women’s tennis teams are well into the spring portion of their season.
The women currently are 8-7-1 overall and 4-1 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athlete Conference (CCAC), while the men are 12-4 overall and 4-0 in CCAC play.
“We’re off to a good start in conference play,” head coach Andy Gibbs said.
The tennis players are also pleased with their progress.
“I think we have done pretty well,” sophomore Lindsey Peterson said. “We have had some setbacks, due to injuries. Despite all that, we have done well.”
Key players on the men’s team include senior Sebastian Esquetini (who won his 100th match on March 6) and junior Diego Gonsalvez, who have each won the CCAC Men’s Tennis Player of the Week award. Esquetini is also ranked No. 44 nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
However, the Tigers have had to play without sophomore captain Landon Williams. Williams had wrist surgery last December and unsuccessfully attempted to come back this spring. His doubles partner, junior Julian Kurz, was also sidelined with a shoulder injury. Kurz is ranked No. 25 by the ITA.
Among the women is junior Aurelie Hascoet, who is ranked 50th in the nation and 8th in the East Region in singles by the ITA, as of March 12. Hascoet and her doubles partner, junior Taylor Stephens, are also ranked third in the ITA East region.
Hascoet, however, has also suffered from a shoulder injury and has been unable to play in several matches.
But through the setbacks, the players are also pleased with Gibb’s contributions to their team.
“I think he has brought a lot of positive elements to our team,” Peterson said. “He pushes use really hard, but [he] still makes it a lot of fun and enjoyable for us.”
Looking to the future, Gibbs has one goal.
“Win our conference tournament,” he said. “By winning, that is how we are going to qualify for the national tournament. That is our focus.”