Tennis Teams Prepare for Season

Even though the Colgate men’s tennis team lost four players from last year’s lineup, the Raiders are looking to have a strong spring season after a solid fall.

Last spring, the Raiders reached the Patriot League Tournament riding the stellar play of standout first singles player Reed Hagmann ’05. However, the team not only lost Hagmann and Pete Oman ’05 to graduation, but senior Scott Coope did not return to the team this year and classmate Jake Heims will be unable to play due to a severe wrist injury.

Head coach Patrick Fisher knows the team lost some key players, but he remains optimistic.

“It is always tough to lose a player like Reed Hagmann, but we are going to have to deal. It is also a shame that Jake’s wrist injury will keep him out this spring, as he would have been one of our best singles player. Even so, I am really happy with the lineup we currently have, as I have a group of players who are ready to work hard and fight for every match.”

The team does not yet have a captain, but juniors Chris Innes and Marshall Wheeler may assume that role as the oldest and most experienced players on the team. The team also returns sophomores Mickey Gallagher, Tyler Deck and Mike Shea from last season.

The tennis team may have lost four important players, but there is no doubt that this year’s lineup has quality players who can compete. The team may not have much depth – with only seven players in the lineup – but with hard work, Fisher feels that the team can be successful.

After weeks of training, the men opened up their season last weekend at the Army Invitational. During the event, the men participated in quality practice matches against teams such as Army, Rutgers, St. Joseph’s and Marist.

The highlight of the weekend was the team’s match against Rutgers. Although the Raiders lost, 4-3, the men showed that they can compete against a team that is regionally ranked. Colgate took the doubles point, but the team lost four of six singles matches to lose the match.

“This was by far my best individual singles match at Colgate,” Gallagher said. “It was one of the toughest, but I am happy that I was able to fight hard and get the win. As a team, I feel this was an overall great match and I hope that we can build on this.”

Fisher echoed the sentiments of Gallagher after the weekend.

“The Rutgers match showed me that everyone is ready to fight this spring,” he said. “If we can continue to play like that and work hard, I feel that we can pull some upsets not only in our league, but in our non-league schedule as well.”

The Raiders lost to Army, 6-1, this weekend, but they came close to taking the doubles point and had some close matches at singles. Army is one of the favorites to win the Patriot League title this year and this match gave the Raiders a good idea of what they will have to do in order to win a league title.

Fisher labeled qualifying for the Patriot League tournament as one of the team’s top priorities. As long as the team continues to work hard, he sees no reason that the goal should not become a reality.

The men are not in action this weekend, but they play a tough Dartmouth squad next week, which will give the team another stiff test. The women’s tennis team will open up its season at the Cornell Invitational this weekend. Both the men and women are excited about this spring season and both look to be contenders to qualify for the Patriot League Tournament.