|ISU men’s tennis concludes fall season on high note|
|Written by Kevin Powell, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 24 October 2011 15:44|
Experience was something the ISU men’s tennis team was hoping to gain this past weekend at the Northwestern Invitational, and that was exactly what the 'Birds received.
A majority of the veteran players were held back from the event, which opened the door for younger players to get playing time.
“Every guy on the team learned some things that they need to work on,” ISU head coach Cris James said. “A couple guys have been really consistent and a couple guys need to get more consistent.
“I know we still have a long way to go for us to be where we want to be, but I think we made progress.”
ISU began Friday, winning 2-of-4 singles matches.
Willi Peter and Jusso Ojanen won their individual matches with Peter dominating Kapshuk of Northern Illinois, 6-0, 6-0, and Ojanen winning over Frederik Ask of Wisconsin, 6-4, 7-5.
Jacob Wilson and Muddappa Appanervanda both lost their matches.
“Singles play went OK,” James said after Friday. “We played well in spots and not well in other spots. Willi had a pretty easy match and Jusso had a good win. The other guys lost to pretty good players. We just have to get a little bit more of a killer instinct and a little more arrogance.”
In doubles, Appanervanda and Peter lost to Alex Robles and Alexander Teppert of Wisconsin, 8-5, before beating them, 9-8, in a second match. Ojanen and Wilson struggled in doubles play, losing both of their matches.
“We’re going to have to spend some serious time on doubles play at home,” James said.
Playing better in doubles was exactly what the 'Birds did on the second day of the invite. The duo of Appanervanda and Peter beat Garret Dunn and Michael Swank from Iowa, 9-8. Ojanen and Wilson won their match against Northern Illinois, 8-3.
In singles, the 'Birds were almost as perfect as their doubles performance when they won 3-of-4 matches.
Ojanen began the day by defeating Mathieu Froment of Minnesota, 6-2, 2-6, 10-5. Wilson then went on to defeat Toledo’s Ben Brock, 6-7, 6-2, 10-3, before Peter finished off singles play by beating Marc Shideler, 6-3, 6-2.
“We are getting better at playing point-by-point,” James said after day two action. “Jusso is playing very confident, too. He had to play against a really good player and he handled himself well.”
ISU wrapped up the invitational as well as its fall season Sunday when the 'Birds won 2-of-4 matches.
Ojanen found success when he beat Pablo Olivarez of Western Michigan, 6-4, 6-4, before Appanervanda defeated Andres Estenssoro of Iowa, 6-3, 6-5.
“Jusso continued to play tough and outlasted his competition,” James said. “Muddappa came out and dominated. He played really well. I liked that he played in control and acted like the better player.”
Wilson was defeated by Nicholas Wong of Toledo, 6-4, 6-4, while Peter fell to DePaul’s Adam Reinhart, 6-2, 6-7, 10-5.
Overall, James believes his team has gained experience and has progressed after the fall season.
“Generally, I’m pretty happy with how our fall season went,” he said. “Every guy on the team learned some things that they need to work on.”
James has set some lofty goals for his squad and will look to utilize the time off between seasons to improve the team.
“We will continue to work on our fitness as well as spend some significant time on doubles to try to get that where it needs to be,” James said. “We want to try to be nationally ranked. “
The 'Birds' play will resume on Jan. 15, when they travel to Notre Dame to begin the spring season.