Tennis seeks patience, consistency

The men’s and women’s tennis teams have a week long break before facing eight teams in eight days. After that they will head to the NAIA Regionals in Oklahoma City.

The women’s team has a record of 3-8 while the men are 1-8.

Paul Pautch, a professional tennis player helping the team this season, said both teams have to work on patience and consistency before Regionals.

Both teams played against the University of the Ozarks (Ark) on Tuesday afternoon. The men also faced Southwestern Christian (Okla). The women ended the day with three wins out of nine matches. The men ended the night with a team loss against Ozark but took Southwestern with a team score of 8-1.

“We played the best that we could,” said sophomore and men’s captain Cameron McLendon.

McLendon said senior and student coach Eric Engstrom put up a good fight though the points did not always reflect that in the match.

Pautsch said the men’s team is doing a good job of winning points but they have not converted that to winning sets.

“They are so close to breaking out,” said Pautsch.

Pautsch said the women have “bought into the program” and were having success.

Sophomore Michelle Caneday said she felt the women played well on Tuesday though she wished more matches would have gone their way.

She said freshman Kelli Mower and sophomore Tiffany Prieb each played close singles matches that when into a third set to break the tie though they both lost.

Prieb said she was a little frustrated at times but is proud of how she played.

“The first set was 1-6 so I’m just glad I was able to pull through for the second set,” said Prieb.

Pautsch, who has coached tennis at different levels for 39 years, believes that both teams have the potential to play well during the rest of the season.

“What they’ve got to do is practice patience and consistency,” said Pautsch, “Once they do that, they will be able to do anything”