Challenges Await Young Raider Tennis Teams

It is not easy to bounce back when a team loses its first, second and sixth singles players from a season ago, but that is exactly the situation in which the Colgate women’s tennis team finds itself. Attempting to improve on last year’s 8-10 record, the Raiders traveled to Pennsylvania last weekend to compete in the Bucknell Fall Classic, giving a valiant effort. Despite the abundance of new faces, this is still a team that has the potential to go deep into the Patriot League Tournament this year.

Senior Lilien Vo and sophomore Alex Seaton both went 1-2 in Flight A singles and then partnered up to go 1-1 in doubles play. In Flight B, first-year Erin Fenn fought hard despite her 0-3 record, while classmate Lindsey Smith’s dominating 8-2 victory over UConn’s Jess Porter earned her a 1-3 record. Meanwhile, first-year Cameron Thaney rebounded from an early loss to reach the finals of the Flight C losers’ bracket, ending the tournament with a record 2-2. Sophomore Lauren Levy also attempted to play for the Raiders, but ended up retiring from both of her matches.

Although the team has had better performances in the past, head coach Patrick Fisher is far from disappointed.

“They’re all working hard and doing what they need to do to make this season a successful one,” Fisher said.

The Colgate men’s tennis team will also be missing some valuable faces this year. Reed Hagmann ’05, the team’s first singles player who graduated in May, was, according to Fisher, “one of the best guys that ever played at Colgate.” Along with the loss of Pete Oman ’05, who occupied the team’s fourth singles spot, the men have some big shoes to fill.

Fisher, however, is excited about the potential of the team’s first-year class, although he admitted that it is hard to tell just how good they could be.

“We’ve got some new faces and had some big losses,” Fisher said, “so it’s hard to say how we’re going to be this year.”

This weekend’s regional tournament at Army should be a tough test for the team, which finished fourth in the Patriot League last year with a 8-17 overall record and a 3-3 league mark

Despite the loss of many key players, both the men’s and women’s teams are optimistic about the season. It will no doubt be a tough one for both Raider squads, but Fisher has faith in his teams.

“We can do it,” Fisher said, “”if we simply put in the effort.”