The mens and womens tennis teams played Minnesota State University Mankato March 9. Both teams came out victorious in the home match.
Teams that travel together stay together, usually in a hotel. Traveling together has created a bond that makes members of the men and women’s tennis team feel more like family than simply teammates.
According to head men’s and women’s tennis coach Jake Saulsbury, “The men’s and women’s friendship goes way beyond just being teammates.”
The team traveled to St. Louis and Springfield, Ill. to compete against University of Missouri, and University of Illinois at Springfield, the weekend of March 19 and 20. During the road trip, the men and women supported each other on the court while making time for fun off the courts.
Josh Raymond a sophomore sports administration major from Elkhorn and the teams No. 1 singles player said, “St. Louis was a lot of fun because everyone was there together. We all got to go to the arch and the zoo. When the teams travel together we become closer. We all share a family type setting with each other,” Raymond said.
Saulsbury said the teams also see another advantage. “When the two teams travel together, the men support the women and the women support the men during each other’s matches.”
That support may have helped the women come out on top with a 7-2 win against St. Louis and a 9-0 win against Illinois Springfield bringing their record to 6-6. The men split two contests with a 5-4 win against Illinois Springfield and a loss in a close 4-5 match against St. Louis, which sustained their winning record, 7-4.
The teams are already looking forward to conference, the next long trip to Albuquerque, N.M. Claire Bryan, a senior from Katy, Texas, studying for her MBA said, “Our teams are really unique. We are teammates and we are true friends.”
The friendships and tennis skills of both teams will be put to test on April 23 and 24, when the teams take a 12-hour bus ride to play for the conference title.