Ferris State men’s tennis will finally begin their long- awaited tournament schedule at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association regionals.
Ferris has many outstanding players returning this year, and they are more than excited to get another chance to be regionally ranked. However, there are also some hard working freshmen that are ready to compete for their first chance to be ranked.
“The ITA regionals are more of an individual tournament than a team tournament. I know all of my team has been working hard over the summer to get where we are today, and I am expecting all of the guys to have a great performance this weekend,” head coach Chad Berryhill said.
The Regional tournament gives players a chance to get an individual regional ranking.
Returning senior Sergiu Laza is excited to see how his younger teammates can play under the pressure of a bigger tournament.
“We have a lot of new guys on the team, and I know they all want to prove themselves,” Laza said. “In my case, I want to do really well since it’s my last year. I want do my best to improve on my result of quarters last year and try to win doubles with my partner, Laurent Galarneau.”
One fallback of the ITA regional tournament is that every game is picked that day from a drawing, so no one can focus on what their opponents’ strengths will be. Teammates could even end up playing each other because the drawing is completely random.
The Bulldogs will most likely face teams from their conference, the GLIAC, and some teams from the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).
“A lot of the competition we will be facing will be extremely tough because most of the teams were NCAA Tournament teams last year,” Berryhill said. “Most of the teams have a lot of guys with experience, so it will be an incredibly tough weekend for us.”
The ITA regionals tournament is hosted all across the region, and whoever wins the singles and doubles tournaments will not only get an individual ranking in the region, but they will qualify for the ITA Small College National Championship, as well.
The winners from each region- a total of eight- will travel to Fort Myers, Fla. this year to compete and possibly win the ITA Small College National Champ-ionship.
“We are hoping to have a singles player and doubles team possibly win at the regional tournament and be able to go down to Fort Myers this year,” Berryhill said.
Ferris men’s tennis will be competing in the ITA regionals this upcoming weekend, Sept. 20-22, in Allendale.