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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Men's tennis gets help from a `Trainwreck'

By Emily Dunn

Picture this: nervous first-year, short shorts, longer t-shirt, brown dress shoes, newly broken glasses taped together with white sports tape. He begins his first varsity tennis practice, he is excited—so excited in fact that he tips over the ball hopper while doing warm-ups, spilling tennis balls all over the court.

“That’s when they started calling me Trainwreck,' coach wanted to call meShoes,’ but the team agreed on Trainwreck,” Andrew `Trainwreck’ Kessel ’07 said.

Three years later he hasn’t changed much; he still forgets his tennis racket and is notorious for being exactly what he is called, a trainwreck.

However, on the tennis court Kessel has proven his worth. With one of the best records in the MIAC conference at 12-2, Kessel has dominated No. 6 singles this season with a current 11-game winning streak. “Playing No. 6 allows me to take advantage of meager opponents, they lose to me and they don’t know why,” Kessel jokes.

When asked how he keeps winning he responded, “it’s because I cheese.” Cheesing, as it is called in the tennis world, is a swing that requires little effort and is annoying to your opponent. “I just keep the ball going,” Kessel adds.

“The funny thing is that I was actually taken out of the line-up at the beginning of the season, not because I was losing, but because of how I was losing. But things have changed,” Kessel said. In speaking of his early season troubles, Kessel explained that it related to his need to overcome nervousness before matches and maintain confidence throughout the game.

Kessel’s teammates eagerly congratulate him and compliment his season’s success. “Wreck is rockin’ and rollin’, you can’t stop him,” Charlie Edelman ’09 said.

Still, Kessel is quick to return the props. “Hey now, Charlie has a great record too, he’s like 10-4, impressive,” Kessel responds. In fact, Spencer Edelman ’06 and C. Edelman have both joined Kessel in double digit wins this season.

Aaron Heerboth ’08, who has played at No. 1 all season, has wracked up nine wins so far. He and S. Edelman have also won seven doubles matches and continue to play well together.

Kessel’s wins at No. 6 may not compare to those of Heerboth or the Edelman’s, yet they still contribute to the overall team score, determining the winner. Because of this, Kessel’s consistent performances and the fulfillment of his role on the team have been highly valuable.

“Wreck is an animal, not just any animal—he’s the angriest little bunny on the court,” Heerboth said, referring to Kessel’s bunny-like serve.

As the conversation shifts to the team, the men still have hope of pulling out a few more conference wins by the end of the season. “The season started out not as hot as we would of liked but the wins in Hilton Head really boosted our confidence, we are constantly improving,” C. Edelman said.

“We just need to calm down and play our own games. We can’t be tempted by the cheese and tank factors,” Kessel said, referring to the desire to just “look good” while playing.

The team recently pulled out a win against Dordt on April 1 but fell in their MIAC match against Bethel on April 4. They are currently 8-6 overall, mainly from their five wins in Carolina, but remain 0-5 in conference play.

The team will have some opportunities to improve on their conference record in the next couple of weeks. The Scot’s next match is Tuesday, April 18 against Carleton on the Macalester courts. Following Carleton, the men will have three MIAC matches remaining against Gustavus, St. Mary’s and St. John’s before the start of the MIAC tournament on April 28-29.

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