Building chemistry on a new team can be difficult, but Ferris men’s tennis has shown no signs of struggle in that area. Instead, they’ve proven they are better together.
Head tennis coach Mark Doren said he has a younger team but they have shown exceptional team chemistry early in the season and it’s a big deal for the future.
The men’s tennis team is led this year by two of their upperclassmen: senior Jack Seymour from Traverse City and Mathis Guerre, a junior from Aix en Provence, France. Doren said both players have stepped up as leaders and have guided the young team.
The men’s tennis team is currently in their offseason and last weekend headed down to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association regionals. While the team struggled to bring home wins, freshman Yannic Alexander Mader won four matches in straight sets in the “A” singles draw and reached the semifinals 9 a.m. Monday. Mader’s wins included upsets against No. 6 seeded Ben Kasprzak Missouri-St. Louis and No. 3 seeded Nico Hadeler of Drury.
“With this being our offseason we’ve only played one tournament, but I was very impressed with how we played in Wisconsin and with four of the nine guys on the team being new, it was great to see the team chemistry so early in the year,” Doren said.
Seymour said that the team has been boasting a lot of confidence, having a lot of great team practices and outside hitting sessions together. The team is taking the offseason to look for certain aspects of their games to tweak, along with scoping out some of the new competition in the region.
“We all were extremely excited for this weekend’s tournament because it will be the first against the competition in our region,” Seymour said. “I feel as though the team is jelling so well going into this year. The team feels the energy of the season coming up and it is really motivating all of us.”
So far this offseason, Doren and Seymour said sophomore Josh McDermott from Queenstown, New Zealand has been a young standout. Both said McDermott acts like a leader, despite it being his first year on the team. As a captain, Seymour sees the talent on his team and is encouraging what being a captain is all about.
“Mathis Guerre has been such an amazing person to set examples for the other players on the team. He is a leader for all of us and that’s why he is a captain,” Seymour said. “Pablo Munoz Baroja has been the best performer so far in my opinion. His ability to compete at the highest level and still be an amazing teammate and motivator.”
With this being the first tournament for the Bulldogs, Doren said that it was a good spot to see where the team ranks amongst some of the best teams in the Midwest. The men’s tennis team has only competed at one other tournament this offseason in Wisconsin. Doren has loved his young teams’ capacity to work together and is thrilled to get the ball rolling into the regular season.
“With only one tournament so far, Pablo Munoz Baroja and Josh McDermott have had the most success with both of them winning their flights at the Wisconsin Whitewater Tournament,” Doren said. “My players do a great job of always supporting each other, which is why I’m very impressed with our team chemistry this early in year.”