With six new players and what Head Coach Shari Bucklin-Webber calls a “no fear” attitude, the men’s tennis squad is ready for the spring season.
Last year’s Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year sophomore Drew Slocum, will step up and play number one singles and doubles for the Marauders.
Seniors Mark Treires and Dusty Speicher will be counted on for their leadership because the team has five true freshmen with minimal experience. But after getting their feet wet in the fall, expectations for the team are relatively high.
“This is where we should put it together and have a successful season,” Treires said.
Treires also hopes to have a winning record this season to go along with his leadership role.
“I want to help the team improve and set a foundation for years to come,” Treires said.
One of the freshmen, Don Swantko, played number-three singles in the fall.
He will be facing tough competition in the PSAC all season. Bucklin-Webber hopes his strength and aggressive style of play will lead him to success.
Another new face is junior Andrew Sorgi, a transfer student. Sorgi, a powerful, competitive player, should bring an added amount of expertise to the court.
The team did learn a lot during their 1-2 overall record in the fall. They replaced more than half of their team and had to start from scratch in many ways. But what they gained from these matches is immeasurable.
“We had to go through the learning curve of the program’s expectations and demands,” Bucklin-Webber said. “We built great team chemistry.”
Bucklin-Webber knows that one of the team’s weaknesses, along with youth, is their size. But that does not seem to matter to her.
“We are not the biggest team in stature, but I believe we more than make up for that with our work ethic and attitude,” Bucklin-Webber said.
Last season, the Marauders finished with a record of 3-8 but were 2-2 against PSAC opponents and managed to sneak into the PSAC playoffs before falling to Kutztown.
This young squad, half of which did not experience the struggles of last season, hopes to improve on that record.
Making PSAC Championships is always the team’s goal, and once they get there they plan on setting their sights even higher.
The Marauders open their spring season in Hilton Head, S.C. for a series of matches to take place during Millersville’s spring break. Their first match is against Bloomsburg University on Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m.
This is one of five matches that will take place over a four-day span and will surely test the team’s endurance. After a two-week break, they will travel to Chestnut Hill on March 21.
Their first home match is against the University of the District of Columbia March 27. It’s the first match of a six-game span in which five of the matches are at home.