The Webster University men’s tennis team is gearing up for one of its toughest challenges of the season. The Gorloks will take on defending St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion and rival Westminster College on March 22 in Columbia, Mo.
Coach Michael Siener knows Westminster is a tough team to beat. Siener said everyone on the squad will have to step up in order to pull off the upset.
“The Westminster match will be extremely tough, as will most of the matches we have left,” Siener said. “Maryville (University), Greenville (College) and Principia (College) all have new players that have made their teams better. We will have to play extremely well at all our spots to beat Westminster and probably need to win one or two of the doubles matches.”
The Gorloks have been preparing for Westminster the same way they have prepared for the rest of the teams on their schedule. At practices, the Gorloks have been hitting a lot and placing balls in specific spots on the court. Junior Wakeel Rahman said he is ready for the team’s big matchup.
“It was tough to have spring break right in the middle, but everyone has been going out and trying to hit as much as they can,” Rahman said. “This nice weather has been helping us; we just need to keep working on the fundamentals. We have to play well, top to bottom — all six singles and doubles. They’re the best in the conference and a win would be huge for us.”
The Gorloks last played on March 7 against Fontbonne University at the Webster Groves Tennis Center. The Gorloks defeated the Griffins 9-0.
“The guys performed well against Fontbonne,” Siener said. “The score was better than it was in the fall when we played them (6-3). A few guys stepped up nicely in the win at the back end of the lineup.”
Juniors Francisco Cortez, Diego Alacron, Ricky Eaves, Josh Sellmeyer, Rahman and Dustin Thode all had victories in singles play.
In doubles action, Cortez/Alacron, Eaves/Sellmeyer and freshmen Zach Selby/Carlton Poindexter won their matchups to help the Gorloks sweep the Griffins.
“We played pretty well against Fontbonne,” Rahman said. “They’re obviously not a strong component in our conference, but it’s nice to get a victory over them.”