The Truman State University tennis team has kicked off its season with several young players and, as of Tuesday, a 3-1 record.
This season the eight player team has four freshmen, one sophomore, three juniors and no seniors. The team lost against St. Ambrose University, but beat Central College in Iowa, Webster University and William Jewell College.
Head coach Steven Smith said everyone on the team is trying to improve.
“We’ve been working on ground strokes a lot,” Smith said. “We were working on reaction volleys a lot. Essentially, we want to be able to hit balls consistently with depth and pace and cover court.”
Smith said the biggest difference between this season and last season is the amount of new people on the team.
Juniors Alex Rogers and Morgan Eby are back from last year’s varsity team and everyone else is new to varsity. Smith said there is a different dynamic this year, but Rogers and Eby are good leaders and the team seems to get along well with each other.
“Everyone else is kind of finding their way through this together and Morgan and Alex are helping them,” Smith said.
So far the energy has been mostly positive, Smith noted, which can be difficult with the hot temperatures during practice.
Smith said he expects that the team will gain more experience throughout the rest of this season.
“I think they’re going to grow closer and they’re going to become better athletes and they’re going to become better tennis players,” Smith said.
The tennis team will play at home Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. against Quincy University.