Tennis opens 2019 season with victory at Houghton

After an exciting victory against Houghton last week, the Allegheny College Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams are still enjoying their smashing victory.

Both teams began their seasons with an 8-1 win against their New York competitors.

“From both perspectives, it was an awesome (win) on the men’s and women’s sides all around,” said Amanda Ress Liere, ’20, women’s team captain. “We crushed the competition to start off the season, so it was a really exciting and energetic way to get the teams together.”

The group accomplished many of the goals they set for their season opener, but they still have to work their mental game prepping for upcoming matches that may be a bit more challenging, according to Ress Liere.

The first round of matches was the same from the men’s side, scoring the same amount of points as the women’s team.

“We brought in several very talented first-years, so we have a very good mix of young talent and experienced guys as well,” said Zach Anderson, ’19, men’s team captain. “We got great and talented players which is going to be very beneficial for us this year as we already saw in our first match.”

Anderson also pointed out how the bottom half of their lineup did very well, which is something he believes will be big for the team this year.

The team intends to use its win to propel its members onward during the season. According to Anderson, the team hopes for a top-five placement in its conference, which features several nationally-ranked and regionally-ranked teams.

“Our conference is always one of the best in the country every year, so we want to try to finish among the top teams in that conference,” Anderson said.

Ress Liere also described her excitement for the upcoming season, which she hopes will include more wins.

“We’re playing a lot of nationally-ranked teams and it’s super exciting to play that competition, so I’m excited for the season that’s coming up,” Ress Liere said.

Many of the team’s younger members are also looking forward to developing their tennis skills this season. Elizabeth Evans, ’22, came to Allegheny interested in playing tennis because of the intensity of college-level competition.

“Being a first-year, I definitely want to establish that I am a good tennis player,” Evans said. “Essentially my goal is to keep working hard and to get better as the season goes on so I can help the team as a whole.”

Younger members are also hoping that this season can help springboard them into leadership positions in the next few years. Gretchen Norton, ’21, hopes to become team captain in the future.

“I think as a whole we said that we just want to keep on improving and being our best selves while also helping each other improve through practice,” Norton said.

Even with a competitive drive, team members have still made having fun a priority, as well as uniting the team. Ress Liere thinks that this season will be good for the team because they work well together.

“We have a lot of different levels on the team right now so making sure that we all are there to support each other so that we all can reach our goals together and be unified as a team,” Ress Liere said. “As a team going forward, our goals are to make sure that we’re putting the time and the work necessary to get some (wins) out there and enjoy the competition.”

Anderson agreed, focusing on team camaraderie and having a team that is close with each other. He described how he chose Division III tennis because of its emphasis on the people as well as the sport.

“It isn’t just about the sport itself, and that’s what I envisioned being a captain,” Anderson said. “Just being able to get this group to be the best we can on and off of the court.”

Ress Liere believes there will be greater team bonding this season. She also believes that most of the members will get better very quickly because of everyone working hard to help each other out.

“Tennis is an individual sport but everyone that is out there is really looking out for each other’s interests and truly love and care about each other,” Ress Liere said.