By Quint Ramsey
Staff reporter

After having their spring season cut short due to COVID-19, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams are finally back in action.

Both teams will kick off their home opener against Cowley County College starting 9 a.m. this Saturday at T.H Vaughan Tennis Complex. Head Coach Jason Speegle said, he is very excited to see how his teams perform after not being able to finish out their season this previous semester.

Speegle said he always has high expectations for his teams, one being to win the KCAC conference. This is a very manageable goal considering the amount of talent from the returners, as well as new talent from incoming freshman.

A few returners Speegle has high hopes for include: David Moral-Tebar, business junior, Benjamin Erdmann, health science sophomore, Alexa Powers, biology junior, Catherine Coe health science sophomore, and Jasmin Hauska, biochemistry sophomore. 

Sergio Vera, business freshman, Federico Poi, computer science freshmen and Mariana Ochoa, undecided freshman, will add an extra spark to the team said Speegle.

Speegle said he thinks this is one of the best teams he has coached. He said, “it is hard to replace experience,” but he believes both teams can claim the KCAC title.

There are still a few open spots to fill. The men’s team will be filling their 2, 3, and 4 spots due to graduated seniors. The women’s team will look to clinch a new no. 1 spot. Despite the changes, Speegle said he believes that there will be a challenge to see who fills each spot.

One of the spots open was recently left by the newest addition to the coaching staff, former player, Sheldon Hawthorne. Hawthorne was hired to be the assistant coach over the summer. Hawthorne said it has been difficult making the transition from player to coach this semester. “I have never hired a former player before, but Sheldon is a perfect fit. The team has automatic respect for him,” Speegle said.

As every year, the tennis teams have high hopes for what the season may bring. Visiting guests is prohibited, so this gives a chance for SC fans to have more space when showing support at home matches. “just make sure to wear masks and participate in social distancing,” said Speegle.