MTEN: Colonels compete at Individual MAC Championships

Kevin Singhel, Assistant Sports Editor

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The iron grip the Wilkes Men’s Tennis team had over the Middle Atlantic Conference has seemingly loosened after a recent result at the MAC Individual Championships. The team has won the past 12 MAC Freedom Championships, an almost unheard of level of dominance of the conference when it comes to Wilkes athletics. However, the team knew that things would be different this season with the introduction of Stevens Institute of Technology into the conference. In fact, Wilkes might have not even been the favorite despite their recent dominance over the conference.

“Before it (the MAC Individual Championships) started I knew Stevens was the team to beat.” said second year head coach Victor Terranova. 

Stevens is a national powerhouse in tennis, and their addition to the MAC was a real threat to Wilkes’ continued success. Last fall at the 2018 MAC Individual Championships, the Colonels had five singles champions and three doubles champions, while this year the team had zero of each. 

“Stevens Institute of Technology is a nationally ranked program and one that has been building a championship level culture for the better part of a decade” added Terranova “Coach Gachko does an amazing job of holding his players accountable while creating an atmosphere where his players have the drive and discipline to play every point like it is for a national title.” 

Stevens certainly lived up to the lofty expectations placed on them, as the team swept all 11 of the events at the championship , a feat that was last pulled off by the Colonels in 2017. 

The Colonels had one runner-up finish on the day, as the pairing of Larry Scartz and Isaac Shenton were able to make it to No. 3 Doubles finals. On the singles side, the Colonels weren’t as lucky as the team did not have a single member make a finals appearance.

Despite the loss, spirits and hopes are high around the team, as many feel the fall season was successful and offers a lot of lessons to be learned. 

“The Fall is about all members of the roster playing and we accomplished that feat, so we are all very pleased.” explained Coach Terranova “We are a growing team, so for the categories that the staff were assessing, we feel very enthusiastic about the strides being made.” 

“Overall, we competed well.” added senior captain Alec Levin.  “I am happy with my team’s ability to compete in every point on the court, as well as push each other with encouragement off the court.” 

The team even discussed taking this result and using it as a building-block toward a more successful future. Competition usually breeds improvement, and the Colonels are hoping that will ring true in this scenario as well.

 “Stevens allows us to do everything on a more professional level.  Our student-athletes saw first hand how much more work they need to put in.” explained Terranova 

“Going forward we are going to continue to get better day in and day out. In the weight room, on the court, in the classroom, conditioning, in everything we do.” added Levin “This event showed us how much harder we can work and much better we can get.” 

Next up for the Colonels is the Spring season, offering plenty of time for the Colonels to continue to improve and get better. 

“We made necessary changes last year in order to be prepared for this past weekend’s results.  Now we have the data and we have to get to work.” concluded Terranova

The Colonels will look to reclaim their throne this Spring, but until then the team will be putting in the work to ensure they return to their winning ways.