Four matches in two days against good competition can be exhausting, said head coach Scott Nesbit.
The team easily beat Macalester in their first match 6-0. They swept the three doubles matches 8-2, 8-3, 8-6, before capturing their first three singles matches to clinch the win. The Oles beat Macalester 6-3 earlier this year.
St. Olaf then had to face Carleton in their next match, one of the best teams in the conference and ranked 22nd overall in the region. They played well but lost 9-0, putting them in the consolation bracket.
In their next match, the men played Hamline but lost 5-3 to the eventual third-place finishers. They took two of three doubles matches but only one singles match, with two of their losses going to super-tiebreakers.
The team had to wait five hours before taking on St. Thomas in their final match of the tournament. They ended up losing 5-4, but Nesbit was encouraged by their overall play. I think the team performed well, said the head coach. They had good focus and outstanding effort.
The Oles are very young team and this season provided some valuable experience to help them move forward next year and hopefully upward in the standings. They lose only one senior and have several young players who made significant contributions throughout the season. These players provide a solid foundation for a team that will only get better as they get older.
[Improvement] is a lifelong process, said Nesbit. We will need to keep working on our tennis games over the summer and next year to get ready for the always-competitive MIAC season next spring.
Nesbit also touched on the fact that, over in the off-season, different players get ready differently, with some practicing a lot over the summer and others cutting back a little and focusing on other things after a busy spring schedule.
However the players choose to prepare, one can be sure that they will come into next season with several goals in mind for their overall performance.
According to Nesbit, those goals are to get better, to improve our skills, to maximize our strengths and improve on our weaknesses, to bond as a team, to become better singles and doubles players, and to enjoy ourselves in the process.
With those general ideas in mind for next year, the St. Olaf mens tennis squad culminates the 2005-2006 tennis season and looks forward to next year.