Last weekend, the Macalester men’s and women’s tennis teams wrapped up their short-lived fall seasons with promising finishes at their respective competitions. Women’s tennis—led by Katelyn Glenna ’15 and Carmen Whitehead ’14—won 8-1 in a non-conference matchup against Mount Mary at Macalester. At the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships in St. Peter, Minn, the men’s team received notable performances from doubles team Brian Utz ’16 and Alasdair McClintic ’17, who won twice to reach the third round (of six) in the ITA doubles draw. Seniors Max Soghikian ’14 and Steven Tyndal ’14 also won their first round match doubles match in that tournament.
Although tennis is predominantly a spring sport, both teams participated in three events this fall, one more than last year. According to Men’s and Women’s Coach Jason Muhl, “both teams played well [this fall]. Both teams are young; three freshman women have a chance to make big contributions this year and three freshman men also have a chance to get significant playing time.”
The strong finish that both teams had this fall bodes well for the spring season, for which the ultimate goal for both teams is a spot in the MIAC conference tournament, Muhl said. For senior captains, Max Soghikian and Carmen Whitehead, the 2014 spring season could present an opportunity for both teams to go deeper into conference play than they have the past few years.
“We could be vying for top 4 in the conference,” Soghikian said. “Making it to the first round [of the MIAC conference tournament] and winning at least that first round match would be a big success for us, and I think this year we have a really good chance of doing it because of the great group of guys we’ve put together.”
Noting that the women’s team only lost one senior from last year and the solid group of first year players, Whitehouse also believes that the women’s team has a shot at a berth in the conference tournament. “I just want to go out on a high note senior year and show the younger players that we can compete in conference,” she said.
Both team captains, as well as Coach Muhl, believe that the incoming class of first years could bring a new life to both teams, which struggled to put together wins last year. Last season’s women’s team had a middling record of 5-12 (3-7 MIAC). The men didn’t fare much better, finishing 8-9 (3-6 MIAC).
“First years always bring life, energy, and enthusiasm to our program,” Muhl said. “We are fortunate to have a large number of excellent freshmen on both teams.”