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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Men’s Tennis Looks To Build on Last Year’s Success

Colgate Athletics / Brian Miller

As the spring season approaches, Colgate University’s men’s tennis team is gearing up for another exciting campaign on the courts. Ready to build upon last year’s season, which ended with the Raiders at sixth in the Patriot League, the team has its sights set on making a statement this year. Sophomore Aidan Chung expressed his enthusiasm at the team’s offseason and fall performance. 

“Last year was a tough year mentally for our team because of the tough competition and schedule,” Chung said. “This year, we had a strong fall in terms of results at invites and the team has never been closer.”

Led by Head Coach Bobby Pennington, the Raiders are a formidable force with a mix of seasoned veterans and promising young talents. Junior Tejas Gupta commented on the team’s tight-knit bond going into the season.

“This year’s team is like none other that I have been a part of during my time at Colgate,” Gupta said. “We know we can go out and win any match, which I think speaks to our team culture and belief in each other. Also, it’s a testament to the hard work we’ve put in the off-season to prepare for what could be our best season ever.” 

Sophomore John Fazli also spoke about the special chemistry of this year’s team.  

“The current spirit of the team is better than it’s ever been, in my opinion. Everyone is truly bought into the program and strives to be better every day. I think what makes us special is that we are all genuinely great friends. We hang out outside of practice and truly want each other to succeed,” Fazli said. 

The upperclassmen on the team — with their experience and dedication — have set the tone for the entire squad and provided a foundation for the younger players to learn and grow.

The team has a few goals entering this season, particularly in Patriot League play.

“Our goals as a team are to finish with a winning record and do some damage in the Patriot League tournament,” Chung said. 

Gupta spoke about the team’s Patriot League goals, as well, specifically singling out a few opponents. 

“We want to hit the trifecta this season: [Boston University], Bucknell [University] and Lehigh [University]. We’ve been close to beating them in the past, and it’s clear that this is the year,” Gupta said. 

The Raiders have set ambitious goals for the season, aiming to improve their conference standing and make a significant impact in national competitions. The team’s camaraderie and support for each other have created a positive atmosphere that fosters growth and success.

On the technical side, the Raiders are honing their skills in both singles and doubles play. Rigorous training sessions, strategy discussions and fine-tuning of techniques are all part of the daily routine. The coaching staff is implementing a well-rounded approach, ensuring that the players are physically fit, mentally sharp and tactically astute.

The Raiders’ schedule is filled with challenging matchups against strong opponents, providing ample opportunities for the team to test their mettle. They have started 1-3 thus far, with that win coming over the United States Military Academy (Army), who finished first in the Patriot League last year.

As the season unfolds, fans can expect thrilling matches, dramatic comebacks and great displays of sportsmanship from the Raiders. One match that Gupta singled out is on April 14 against Stonehill College at home. 

“One thing that is tough about our home matches is that they are in Syracuse, [N.Y.], so it’s a bit of a trek for the student body. However, we are lucky enough to have a match at home on our outdoor courts against Stonehill,” Gupta said. 

The team’s blend of experience and youth coupled with a dedicated coaching staff positions the team for success. Raider nation eagerly awaits the start of the season, ready to rally behind their team and witness the pursuit of excellence on the tennis courts.

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