The Buena Vista men’s tennis team is set to open its 2013 spring schedule on Saturday, as the Beavers are in Dubuque for a pair of Iowa Conference matches against both the University of Dubuque and Loras College, respectively. Head coach Kevin McCadams, now in his seventh season at the helm, has been pleased with his teams workouts during the preseason and is ready to see how his squad can perform.
“Practices have been going well as we have steadily been improving during our match play between ourselves,” he says. “Our strength and conditioning program will help us during those long matches.”
“Our tactical play and energy level has also improved overall as a team,” he adds. “Our focus has been to ‘plan your point—play your plan’, good execution, and to ‘make them beat you, not ‘you’ beat you”.
McCadams has an experienced group back from last year’s team that went 5-11 overall and 2-6 during IIAC play.
“Adam Gustad, who is our #1 singles player, has been playing well,” he says. “Cole Renken and Jason Ehrhardt have been too. Kyle Shade has steadily improved in both his singles and doubles play.”
Renken (Cherokee, Iowa/Cherokee Washington) led the group with his eight singles victories in 2012, with Ehrhardt (Osceola, Iowa/Clark Community) tied for second at five. Ehrhardt and Gustad (Fargo, N.D./Fargo South) teamed up at #1 doubles, and the pair went on to post a 6-10 overall mark. Renken played primarily at number three doubles with Keifer Nevius and posted a team-high seven wins.
Dillon Nevius (Osceola, Iowa/Clarke Community) looks to build on his fall performance at the IIAC Individual Championships where he earned a third place finish in the Flight C singles bracket.
As a team, BVU went 24-35 overall in doubles matches and 40-75 in singles play.
McCadams says the team’s goals this season are to advance into the team tournament and post a .500 or better record in both singles and doubles play for the year.
“We have more starters back from last year, our doubles tactical play is better and more aggressive, and our singles players have more “shot tolerance”, he states. “We just need to stay focused on our plan with good execution, play the “big” points well and “finish” off our close matches.”
Following Saturday’s matches, BVU will play a trio of matches in Cedar Rapids next weekend before opening its home schedule on Saturday, March 2 against Grand View University (9:00am) and Bethany Lutheran College (4:00pm).
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.