Despite having no seniors on the team, Ohio Wesleyan men’s tennis, under second-year coach Tom Drabczyk Jr., set their sights on achieving a regional and division ranking.
Coach Drabczyk Jr. also coaches the OWU women’s tennis team.
“Being on a team without any seniors has its advantages and disadvantages,” said freshman Elliot Garwood. “One of the advantages is that it forces someone on the team to step up and lead, even when things seem to be going in the wrong direction.”
Garwood found success during the team’s fall tournaments. This included a second place finish in the B singles bracket at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Central Regional tournament in Indianapolis, Ind.
Since then, the Battling Bishops have been practicing in Gordon Field House throughout the winter. This is the same place home matches will occur until the weather improves.
Garwood mentioned that having indoor courts provides the team with advantages that a lot of other Midwestern schools may not have.
“Coming from South Florida I am used to playing outside all the time,” Garwood said. “Practicing indoors is not so bad because it actually helps my technique on my ground strokes and my serve.”
Junior Austin Okray, the only player on the team to have lettered twice, feels the same about being able to practice indoors, adding that practice has been intense leading up to the first spring match.
“We just want to win and to take over a regional ranking to prove we are not to mess with,” Okray said. “Our schedule has aligned us to have a real chance at a Division III ranking.”
OWU starts off the spring season on Feb. 8 in Kalamazoo, Mich. against Kalamazoo College.