Team unity brings about best season in years

By Mike Snavely

In a sport usually considered to be essentially individual, men’s tennis player Evan Elderbrock ’12 reveals how the team’s chemistry has been an invaluable asset this season.It all started with the team’s spring break trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina, where the Scots got to play outdoors for the first time all year.

“Hilton Head is where it all clicks,” Elderbrock said. “You have eight guys together in a little condo, focusing on tennis and building unity; it really sparks the season.”

The tough competition the team saw in South Carolina proved to be just what they needed to build character going into the rest of the season. In their first game on the trip the guys faced a tough Wooster team out of Ohio, and lost a nail-biter 5-4.

The loss could have been a blow to the team’s confidence, but Elderbrock took advantage of the situation, telling the team “we’re playing well, but we should be disappointed. We could’ve beaten that team.”

The team responded, going out the next day and playing a team better than Wooster, and winning 7-2.

“That match set the bar high and aiming for it everyday is what we need to do,” Elderbrock said. The Scots ended up going 3-2 on the trip, and then came home and swept their next three matches 9-0.

Since matches are one-on-one, the harmony of the team may not seem relevant, but Elderbrock explains how vital it really is.

“When I’m on the court, I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to get this one point for the team,’ so spiritually it’s a team thing,” he said. “And if I lose and the team wins it’s much more satisfying than if I win and the team loses.”

This unity is based around the spiritual leader of the team, Titus Levy.

“It’s all about the team with [Levy],” Elderbrock said. “My favorite part of the game is when there’s one match left on and everyone picks the player up, every point, and Levy is at the lead. Four of five people getting riled up really helps.”

The energy of the team has given the Scots their best conference record in recent memory. When coach Jason Muhl first started at Mac, the Scots would routinely get swept in conference, and this year the guys are already 3-2, with four matches to go. This has them in fourth place, which is a comfortable spot, as they only need to be in the top six at the end of the year to make the playoffs, something the Scots have not done in coach Muhl’s tenure.

This season is especially noteworthy for the Scots, as they have a shot to have the best winning percentage of any other sport this year.

“The team is kind of the wild card or dark horse of the school this year,” Elderbrock said. “We haven’t had the most success in the past, but this year we’re all business and it’s paying off.”

The team looks solid into the future as well, as it’s only losing one senior this year, and there are a lot of solid players ready to compete.

With the athletic banquet coming up, the Scots have made their bid for performance of the year. If the Scots continue to pull off close matches, and maintain the team bond, it will be a truly memorable season.