New depth for younger athletes

The men and women’s tennis teams won their way into last year’s conference tournament. This year, the Cru is back and working to do even better.

“If we place first in the West Division, we can host the conference tournament here,” senior psychology major Megan Aarhus said. “My hope is to win it here, on our own turf.”

The teams are in full-swing of their spring seasons.

“We’ve been training since we started school back in the fall, but now is the time we have to let our hard work shine,” junior sport management major Josh Pownall said.

Both the men’s and women’s teams have already played and defeated the University of the Ozarks, Southwestern University and LeTourneau University. The Lady Cru also played Trinity University on Friday but lost the confrontation 2-7.

During afternoon practice, freshman Eli Basden warms up his forehand swing with fellow teammates. The Cru and Lady Cru take on St. Mary’s University March 11 in Belton at the Yvonne Li Tennis Center starting at 2 p.m. Photo by Stacy Fannin

During afternoon practice, freshman Eli Basden warms up his forehand swing with fellow teammates. The Cru and Lady Cru take on St. Mary’s University March 11 in Belton at the Yvonne Li Tennis Center starting at 2 p.m. Photo by Stacy Fannin

“We played really well and were ahead 2-1 after doubles.   A lot of the singles matches were really close, but they were tougher than the other teams we’ve played so far,” senior exercise sport science major Rebecca Everett said.

Everett said that the women’s team has more players this year than last.

“We have 10 girls this year. It’s good because it makes us work harder to earn our spot to play in the top six,” Everett said.

The men’s team has proved itself victorious thus far in the season, with the beginning of conference matches just around the corner.

“So far, we’ve played well enough to win, but we are going to have to keep getting better to beat our toughest competition in the conference,” Pownall said.

His teammate and doubles partner, senior exercise sport science major Daniel White, is in agreement.

“Our schedule gets harder from now on,” he said.

White said he hopes to help the team the rest of the season by continuing to play doubles at a high level while also improving his singles play.

Pownall said that this year’s team has several freshmen who changed the overall dynamic of the team.

“The freshmen are only going to get better,” he said.

Aarhus sees a similar trend among the Lady Cru.

“The teams are younger this year, but overall, we are better than last year,” Aarhus said. “We have more depth in our line-ups.”

So what’s next for the men’s and women’s tennis teams? The Cru play in their next three mathces in Belton on March 10, 11 and 23 at the Yvonne Li Tennis Center.

To reach their conference dreams this season, Everett said the team needs to take every practice seriously.

“I feel we need to stay focused on our training and work hard every time we step on the court,” she said. “We have the talent on our team. Now, it’s all about our drive and how hard we want to work.”

Author: Stephen Webster

Bio info coming soon!

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