Marquette’s men’s tennis team faces a difficult schedule this weekend as the team takes on Chicago State and IUPUI Saturday and then Illinois-Chicago Sunday, all at home. The Golden Eagles look to continue their hot streak after downing Western Illinois last weekend in straight sets.
Jose Carlos Gutierrez Crowley believes the team will use their opening victory as motivation against the team’s upcoming opponents.
“I feel pretty comfortable with the team — really confident with the team we have,” Crowley said. “I think we are going to do great this season. I don’t think that Western Illinois was a big opponent but we played what was necessary. It is good to have teams like that early so that we feel comfortable in future matches.”
With three matches in two days, coach Steve Rodecap said he will need every one of his players to step up and perform this weekend if the team is to succeed.
“I think we have a couple of big days,” he said. “We play three matches in two days … but I feel fortunate that our depth will help us this weekend. Everyone is going to have to contribute this weekend.”
However, he is hesitant to predict that the Golden Eagles are capable of sweeping away their opponents as they did last weekend.
“Tennis is a very fickle sport and it only takes one guy to have a bad day … but I feel confident about our chances at the end of the weekend,” Rodecap said.
For the first time this season, senior Dusan Medan will play and claims he is eager to get out on the court.
“I feel pretty comfortable,” he said. “I practiced hard during the break and these past couple of days.”
First up for Marquette is Chicago State. For the Cougars, their match against Marquette is their season-opener and Rodecap knows that Chicago State will be energized to start their season off strong.
“You put a stop to it right from the beginning,” he said. “Our approach is always, ‘We need to be intense ourselves but also match our opponents intensity.’ ”
Marquette’s second opponent, IUPUI, fell to Louisville and Notre Dame in their opening weekend, but Rodecap isn’t putting much stock in the team’s previous play.
“You have to prepare every match that way and you don’t get too involved in looking at other results from that standpoint … We want our guys to be challenged,” he said.
The Golden Eagles managed to sweep Illinois-Chicago, Chicago State, and IUPUI last season, but Medan refuses to become over-confident.
“We played them last year and we played really well. I feel like we are the favorites on paper but we need to come out here and prove it. We have no small enemies.”