High Hopes for Men’s Tennis

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - January 26th, 2016

 

head coach Mark Basham (photo by Brad Elliott)

head coach Mark Basham (photo by Brad Elliot)


By Kaci Mexico
January 25, 2016

Westmont Men’s Tennis had a tough 2015 season (10-15) that was riddled with injury. Even with set-backs their season still included a semifinal round appearance in the Men’s Tennis Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament and a first round appearance in the NAIA National Tournament.

With five new players and eight out of nine players returning from last season, Westmont Men’s Tennis looks forward to a healthy and resilient upcoming season.

Last Season:

Head coach Mark Basham shared his perspective on last season and how the current team will build off of it.

“My perspective on last season was a mix of positive memories along with some frustrating ones,” explained Basham. “In my six seasons as Coach we had the most injuries than we had in any other season – some of which were fluky injuries and some of which were not.

“We lost freshman Luke Whalen (now a sophomore) to a stress fracture in his labrum midway through, which definitely hurt our team since Luke had been playing mostly #1.

“We beat Concordia and San Diego Christian early on in the season but lost to them later in the season. We lost a very tough match to Concordia 5-4 at home which was a huge match for us. We then had further injuries and a very tough schedule to follow.”

The Warriors made it to the semifinal round of the GSAC Tournament where they lost to Vanguard 5-0.

“At Nationals we lost in the first round to a tough Reinhardt 5-4, with the match coming down to #6 singles where we lost 7-6 in the 3rd set.”

Players lost:

“We only lost one player – captain Josh Barnard,” noted Basham. “Josh was an amazing player for us and an inspirational leader. He was a true Warrior and irreplaceable in many ways. Josh improved as much, if not more than anyone I have coached so far at Westmont. His teammates really loved him.”

Key Returners:

The Warriors return key contributor senior Carl Lindqvist. At the end of last season Lindqvist was named to the All-GSAC team, and honored as a NAIA All-American (second team). He posted a singles record of 10-12 playing at numbers one and two, and doubles record of 11-12 playing at number one primarily with partner Josh Barnard.

Incoming Players:

“Our new players are David Akin, Alexander Dill, Jordan Strandness, Corey Stephens and David Spindler. All five of our freshman will be important on this years’ team whether it be on the court or for team morale off of the court.

Jordan and David Akin are presently #6 and #7 so I expect them to get a lot of play this season. I hope that Alex, Corey and David Spindler can all make great strides to further their teammates.”

This Season:

Coach Basham went on to share about the team’s goals and challenges in this upcoming season.
“Our team goals are to be fit and healthy throughout the season, grow in unity together, grow spiritually and emotionally, continue to do well in the classroom, win our conference and the conference tournament, make nationals and finish in the top eight in the nation.

“Our challenges would be that we have a lot of new players who are unproven at the college level so it is hard to know how our team is going to jell over all,” continued Basham. “Also, I am not sure how Luke Whalen’s labrum/hip is going to respond to match intensity so we will have to monitor that closely.

“I am excited to see how Carl, Travis, Luke, Tommy Nightingale, and Christian Mathis all perform, as they are proven players.”

The Warriors are currently 0-1 and will begin GSAC play on February 6 in Phoenix against Arizona Christian at 1:30 p.m. (PST).