The men of the Ferris tennis program have officially wrapped up the first part of their 2017-18 season after competing in the 2017 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Regional Championships.
Six Bulldogs made the trip down to Grand Rapids to participate in the event. Junior Bulldogs Steward Sell and Nur Adim Ramdani Iswan made it to the doubles championship round in their bracket, falling to Drury to become the runner up of bracket A.
Sell, an integral member for the Bulldogs during the Elite Eight runs over the past two years, is preparing for the hibernation that comes with waiting for the second half of the season to come back around in February.
“It’s going to take a lot of focus over the next couple months. It’s tough practicing for two months or so without having any matches or tournaments to compete in to see the improvements,” Sell said. “So just like any other time of year, we’re just going to put everything we have into practices and take care of what we need to take care of and be ready for spring season competition.”
As Sell alluded to, the Bulldogs will not play any competition matches until the season officially kicks back up in February, though that doesn’t mean the grind isn’t just as intense as the regular season.
Sophomore Austin Debruyne knows that to achieve the success the team has had in the past, they’ll need to keep working. Debruyne reached the consolation championship round for doubles with freshman teammate Mathis Guerre, falling 8-4 to Grand Valley.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the practice court and getting into the gym to get back into shape like we were last year and hopefully make another run at Nationals,” Debruyne said. “This is the time of year where we really crank it up and put in the work in preparation for our upcoming season.”
The no-days-off mentality of the crew is one that has carried over from success in years past and the change in the coaching staff hasn’t changed that. Head Coach Daniel Hangstefer is in his first year at the head of the program and Sell said that things are going great with Hangstefer.
“Of course it is going to be different with a new coach, there will be new expectations and a new way that things will be done that will take some getting used to,” Sell said. “That is a part of college sports and we have to be able to adjust and continue on if we want to keep being successful- and I believe it is going well for us.”
In last year’s ITA Midwest Regional Championships the Dawgs competed similarly, competing for a championship in the singles division and gaining runner up status just as Ferris State did this year in doubles action.
A little over four months are all that stand between the Bulldogs and their 2018 spring schedule.