Men's and women's tennis undefeated: 22 games to go

By Emily Dunn

[img_assistfid=71alt=Heavy Hittercaption=Aaron Heerboth ’08 started the season at No. 1 for Mac.]

As our Minnesota winter winds to a close, Macalester men’s and women’s tennis teams hit the court. The teams started practice two weeks ago and as they move into their competitive season they share high hopes and confident attitudes. Currently the teams travel three days a week to Bloomington for tennis courts and will continue to do so until the weather is warmer. Such dedication and flexibility creates an impetus for improvement. “We will build on our foundation of hard practice, it will pay off, it just takes time,” said Head Coach Jason Muhl about the upcoming season.

Muhl began coaching the men’s team at Macalester last year and heads into this spring season as both the men’s and women’s coach. Along with Muhl, the teams have created a family atmosphere as his wife, Kelly, father, Chuck, and Mac tennis alum Christie Hague ’05 contribute time, encouragement and advice to the teams. “Coach Muhl and his family create an incredible support system for both the men’s and women’s teams,” explains Megan Walsh ’09.

Contributing to the family atmosphere on the team, first-year Charlie Edelman ’09 joined his older brother, veteran captain Spencer Edelman ’06 this year. “There are a bunch of quality freshman, including Charlie who will play at the No. 3 spot,” Spencer Edelman said.

Both teams kicked off their seasons successfully with a win against Northwestern College (Minn.) last Saturday in Bloomington. “Everyone played impressively and comfortably after only three days of practice,” said Walsh. Each team achieved solid performances, especially the men, who pulled off a 9-0 shutout victory.

Leading the men’s team at No. 1 was Aaron Heerboth ’08 (6-2, 6-1) followed by Spencer Edelman ’06 (6-1, 6-1) at No. 2 in the singles competition. In the doubles lineup Spencer Edelman ’06 and Nick Werth ’06 won 8-0 followed by Heerboth ’08 and Justin Chan ’09 with an 8-3 victory.

Werth concluded his Macalester tennis career with his is first and last match of the season as he recently left for a study aboard program in Argentina.

The women also had three great performances, ending with 6-3 win. “I was really impressed by how everyone played and it seems like our season will be a lot different from last year. I would like to continue improving and having a good time,” commented Anna Peschel ’08 about the match.

In the singles competition Walsh played a close game at No. 1 (4-6, 5-7) as did Peschel at No. 2 (5-7, 3-6); while Jenna Harris ’08 (6-3, 7-5). In the women’s doubles competition Walsh and Captain Chelsea Stinson ’07 defeated Northwestern (9-7). Becky Nieber ’09 and Sayoko Nakamura ’08 (8-2) were victorious as well.

As the teams’ goals this season are to stay focused and improve their MIAC record, Coach Muhl describes both teams as being extremely dedicated, focused, and hard working. “Pride in work translates to a great season,” said Coach Muhl.

“Yesterday’s match already showed massive improvement on both the men’s and women’s teams. Although this season will take getting used to as we travel and split practice time with the men’s team, thanks to Coach Muhl I believe this season will exceed past years as both a successful and positive experience,” said Harris.

As the teams continue to work hard, Coach Muhl expects both the men and women to place in the middle of the MIAC pack, a hopeful improvement from last year’s dismal season.

Tobin Kaufman-Osborn ’07 said, “I don’t care what happens as long as we beat St. Thomas,” which is a possibility this season.

“With a lot of hard work and improvement, we will try not to emasculate ourselves in front of the women,”Spencer Edelman continued.

The teams are looking forward to their first MIAC match this Saturday against St. Olaf at the Owatonna Tennis Club.