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Stroke of luck: Mens tennis looks forward to final tournament
Nate Britton
Antelope Staff

UNK’s tennis program has found some good freshmen to fill in the roster as the final tournament before the spring season begins has come to an end. UNK hosted the ITA tennis tournament on Oct. 2 through Oct. 4.

Most of the UNK tennis athletes like playing the singles better than the doubles because it really shows what a player is capable of. “I like singles better than the doubles when I am playing in a tournament because I have to rely on myself to make the plays,” Josh Raymond, a sophomore administration major from Elkhorn, said. “This really makes me push myself to the limit."

 Raymond said he likes playing doubles as well, but it helps improve his game when he doesn’t get to rely on someone else to make the play.

According to Raymond it was a nice change of pace to have the tournament in Kearney because they travel during the spring season almost every weekend.

“Being able to play against people from around the region on our home court is really nice,” Raymond said.

Raymond has a lot of confidence in his team to do well, especially with the new talent they brought in this year.

“I think it is going to be an exciting year for tennis at UNK because of the three new freshmen we recruited,” Raymond said. “I think the freshmen will help us at nationals. I think we might even be able to make it to the finals.”

Raymond isn’t the only one who has a positive outlook on the team.

“I think in addition to our top players that have been around for a little while, such as Josh Raymond and Rodrigo Duncan, the freshmen are going to strengthen our team a lot,” Jason Lescelius, a senior psychology major from Columbus, said. Lescelius said the new energetic coach is going to be a big help to the team as well. “I think that we have the talent and the coach to help us make it to the finals in the nationals,” Lescelius said.

Also, Lescelius said it is a great way to warm up before the regular season. His favorite part of the tournament is playing in the singles matches.

“The reason I like the single matches the most is it feels like more of a battle, not to mention I have really bad hands on the net, or you could say a fear of the net,” Lescelius said.

Another player who likes playing in singles more than doubles is Rodrigo Duncan, a business management major from Mexico. “I like singles more because winning the match depends completely on me,” Duncan said. “No one can save the game for me, so it feels like more of a personal victory when I win a match.”

“The thing I like most about the ITA tournament is getting to know some of the competition as well as getting in a lot of court time that isn’t against my own teammates,” Duncan said. He was the No. 8 seed in the tournament and made it to the quarterfinals before he lost to the No. 1 seed of the whole tournament.

He also feels that his team is going to do well this year in the nationals.

“I like my coach a lot because he is good with the team, and a mix of him with our new players should help us get further in the nationals,” Duncan said.

The team has a lot of good players and a young coach who can relate to everyone on the team really well. Between Duncan, Lescelius and Raymond, they all feel the same about their team. UNK’s tennis team has a lot of confidence and the talent to go along with it.

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