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Tennis has success in doubles at Milwaukee Tennis Classic

Diana+Tokar+and+Paula+Tormos+Sanchez+were+named+the+tournament%E2%80%99s+Women%E2%80%99s+Doubles+Champions.
Diana Tokar and Paula Tormos Sanchez were named the tournament’s Women’s Doubles Champions.

Diana Tokar and Paula Tormos Sanchez were named the tournament’s Women’s Doubles Champions.

Photo by Maggie Bean

Photo by Maggie Bean

Diana Tokar and Paula Tormos Sanchez were named the tournament’s Women’s Doubles Champions.

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Men’s tennis coach Steve Rodecap came to the 41st Milwaukee Tennis Classic with expectations to win a few matches, watch some competitive tennis and learn a whole lot.

Now that the weekend is over, Coach Rodecap says that’s exactly what happened.

“It’s hard to have a lot of expectations individually or as a team at this point,” Rodecap said. “But the heart of the matter is that we need to be better in several areas.”

The men’s team finished the weekend 1-2 in singles play and 2-1 in doubles play in matches against Wisconsin, Ball State and Navy. Senior Mackenzie Stearns and sophomore Alvaro Verdu were named Men’s Doubles Runners-up, finishing the weekend 2-1.

Women’s head coach Jody Bronson left the annual tournament hosted at The Tennis Club in Fox Point with a similar sentiment.

“We’ve only had three team practices up to this point,” Bronson said. “We were really looking to see if our kids could compete hard from start to finish, and do what they’re supposed to do every point.”

The women’s team finished the weekend 0-3 in singles play and 2-0-1 in doubles play in matches against Wisconsin, Ball State and Boise State. Senior Diana Tokar and junior Paula Tormos Sanchez were named the tournament’s Women’s Doubles Champions after going undefeated.

As the final two matches in play this weekend, all eyes were on sophomores Courtney Hebard and Greg Anderson.

Hebard, playing the women’s third singles position, and Anderson, slotted in as men’s fourth singles, both dueled their Wisconsin opponents in three-set marathons that captured attention—including hoots and hollers—from their teammates.

Both players lost in a tight third set, but not without revealing valuable takeaways about the whole weekend to their coaches and teammates.

“We had a lot of three set matches, but we didn’t pull many out. We’re right there, but what happened that we didn’t pull it out?” Bronson said.

She also noted that being in better shape will be a goal moving forward, as fitness helps most late in third sets. She was, however, impressed by the toughness her players displayed down the stretch.

Rodecap similarly saw his players lose in three-set matches, and said his team must be better mentally.

“It’s tough when you have so many chances and you can’t get it done. I heard (Anderson) had a tough call that didn’t go his way that cost him a bit. But in the end it doesn’t cost you anything because you’re still in the match,” Rodecap said. “You have to let things go. You have to rebound. You have to have resiliency. That’s what makes tennis such a difficult sport to play.”

The coaches also had to deal with some nagging injuries, specifically to their top line players. Sophomore and returning BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Silvia Ambrosio sat out the tournament with a shoulder injury.

Verdu, a returning ALL-BIG EAST First Team selection, ultimately played through the weekend nursing a shoulder injury of his own. The sophomore finished the tournament 2-1 in singles play and 2-1 in doubles play.

“Obviously it was the first tournament of the year. It was a good chance to come off a week of practice and put all we had on the court and make everything work,” Verdu said. “I think I played really well in the first match. In the last two matches, a little less so, as I was dealing with my shoulder a bit more.”

Next weekend, the men’s team will be traveling to the Purdue Fall Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind. The women’s team will travel to Minneapolis to compete in the Minnesota Gopher Invite.

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