Eagle tennis aces take second at opening season tournament

Posted Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 12:00am

The CEU tennis team came home with smiles on their faces last weekend as they returned from their first tournament. They traveled to Snow College in Ephraim, where they were matched up to play against Salt Lake Community College on Friday and Snow College on Saturday. The players weren't sure of what position or rank they would be playing before they left on their trip. It wasn't until they were on the road that Coach Russell Goodrich announced the positions and where they would each be playing during the matches.

This tournament was a great way to start the new season. The matches against the schools were very different but showed each individual player's potential and promise for the upcoming season and matches therein.

On Friday night, only a half hour after the team arrived in Ephraim their first scheduled match against SLCC began. The Lady Eagles took them by storm, and beat them without mercy. The women doubles team won 11-1, and both the women singles players, Jennifer Jarrett and Lindsey Arnoldis won 6-0, 6-0. "I think that since it was the first match and the start of a new season, we were all pumped to see how we would do and how well we could come through, individually and as a team. SLCC wasn't as tough or hard-hitting as they were last year, but the girls played awesome and kicked butt. It was a nice, positive way to start the season," Jarrett announced.

The women's doubles team was pumped about their performance and 11-1 score. "It was a good way to start," Coyne announced, "Lindsey and I weren't able to practice together so we never got to see each other play, we didn't know what styles or techniques to use to compliment each other. So it was nice to play SLCC first, it was good practice time to see how we both played, before we played Snow."

The men did have more competition against SLCC than the girls but came out with an amazing victory. "The men fought very hard and pulled out a tough win. Overall with just the men singles and doubles scores we beat them, but just barely, it was by one game. When we added in the women scores we won by a long ways but it was by one game that the men were able to win," Coach Goodrich cheerfully proclaimed. "I think that everyone is still learning or getting into their groove again but we definitely have skills to do better in the future."

In the men's doubles bracket, King and Blackburn played a tough match and were able to come out on top. In the men's singles division King, Blackburn, and Moon all played excellent games of extreme rallies and powerful hits filled with suspense and anticipation.

Snow was definitely an overall better team than SLCC and more competition for the CEU players. "I was looking foreword to Snow every time I thought about playing them. While we were playing SLCC, we were able to see them hit around and play for a bit. They looked better than Salt Lake definitely but they were so cocky and acted like they were so good that all I wanted to do was to beat them so bad!" Arnoldis stated.

Although the Eagles weren't able to pull through against the Badgers they played aggressively and were quite competitive. Goodrich revealed, "They [Snow] were a good team, I was impressed. Our players were competitive against them and played excellent but they were a strong team. I think with more practice and experience we will be able to beat them in the future."

Many members of the CEU team were content with their playing. Ryne Vogel commented after playing his final match, "I've never hit so many winners, but I also have never made so many unforced errors." Gwendolyn Coyne remarked, "I was surprised with how well I did considering I didn't practice very much in preparation for the tournament."

Goodrich noted, "Snow's best players were their mixed doubles team, no combination of our players could have taken them. I think in the future we can, Reed and Jen were a tough team, they played very strong. Their problem was they got themselves into an early hole. By the end they had really started playing much better and started pulling out. They competed more and started acting like they could do it." Jarrett exclaimed, "I was surprised and happy about the way I played during the mixed doubles match. Reed and I both had never really played doubles before. I feel like it's a whole different game. In doubles you have to outsmart the other team where as in singles you have to run and beat them physically. You want to be consistent and place the ball to get them running. At first Reed and I weren't doing too well but by the end we were getting the 'doubles thing' down. I feel like we did really awesome. Our serves were the main thing I was proud of, we both had quite a few aces. Reed also was a great partner, he was really good at the net, and an all around good player."

In the future Goodrich would like to keep Arnoldis and Coyne playing women's doubles and Jarrett at mixed but would like to try out different combinations for the mens doubles team. Coyne observed, "Lindsey was awesome. I thought we worked well together. Her ground-strokes were awesome, she was good at the net, had good serves ... she was just good all around."

The team's next big tournament will be held at SLCC on October 3-4. They have already begun working on things to better their games and to help them with their mistakes. They are really expecting to come out on top and win their matches. Jarrett noted, "I am really looking foreword to this year, our team is a lot stronger than last year already. I do think we will be able to do anything we put out minds to and take the other schools by storm!"

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