Men and Women’s Tennis: The quest for another title

The tennis teams at Wilkes are coming off an impeccable 2014 campaign. Both men and women’s tennis are known around the country for their visits to the NCAA playoffs year after year. The men’s team has won the Middle Atlantic Conference the last eight seasons and this year’s vision is no different.

“The team goals are to match last years performance at the MAC championships, and try to get past the round of 32 in the national tournament (NCAA) should we get that far,” said senior Max Apello.

The team members appear to be embracing the target on their backs that comes with being a successful program, and every team wants to knock them off. The message has been simple from Coach Leichtas as he  preaches  the idea of family to his players.

“The message that Coach Leicht and I are sending to the freshman about the culture of Wilkes Tennis is to be united in a family atmosphere. Coach Leicht believes that a succesful team must have members who are very supportive and amicable,” said Brian Murray.

The Lady Colonels are just as successful if not more considering they have won the last nine Middle Atlantic Conference championships, each win giving them a bid to play in the NCAA playoffs. The success comes directly from Coach Leicht. He seems to be preaching the same family process to the women as he does to the men’s team.

“Wilkes Tennis is a family. Boys and girls combined are not just a team, but stick together and help one another out. Play as a team, win as a team, lose as a team and like a family,” said Olivia Hewison.

Anytime the team does not win the conference, the season is ultimately a failure. That just goes to show the expectations that Coach Leicht holds for his players, and even further the expectations the athletes hold for themselves.

The men’s team is starting out strong this season with four huge wins and no losses. The women’s team has three wins and zero losses. Combined the men’s and women’s teams are an incredible 61-2 in singles/doubles matches this season. Each full team match is composed of nine different events, and so far out of the seven total matches only two within the match have been losses by the men’s team. The women’s team has yet to give up a loss in any match.

“Wilkes tennis is very competitive, and we play to win. The motivation we have is unstoppable. However, we also try and show sportsmanship on and off the court,” said Hewison.

Member of men’s tennis team recovers from serve at last week’s match.
Member of men’s tennis team recovers from serve at last week’s match.