After a short and disappointing fall season, the Oswego State men’s tennis team returns to action for the spring portion of its schedule. The Lakers went 1-3 in the fall, and are looking to improve upon that mark in their remaining 10 matches.
Despite their troubles in the fall, the Lakers believe it is not indicative of what is to come.
“[The fall is] absolutely not a factor,” senior Brian Tosti said. “We got some great experience and are taking the fall as if it was preseason for us.”
Oswego State originally had five matches scheduled for the fall, but the team’s Oct. 7 home matchup against Daemen College was cancelled due to rain. The Lakers will face Daemen during the spring season on Saturday, but it will come on the road.
The Lakers’ lone win during the fall came in shutout fashion against Cazenovia College, as Oswego State dropped the Wildcats, 9-0, on Sept. 21. The Lakers fell in their two remaining matches in the fall, and will look to bounce back in the spring.
The team spent the offseason working out in an attempt to improve for the spring.
“We went to the gym a lot and really worked on our strength and conditioning because we couldn’t get on the court,” Tosti said.
The spring season began on Wednesday for Oswego State, as the team traveled to the Turning Stone Tennis Facility to face off against Utica College. The Pioneers defeated the Lakers, 7-2. Sophomores Sam Moores and Tim Van Hine Jr. were the only Lakers to record wins for Oswego State at the No. 1 and 3 singles spots respectively.
The Lakers will spend a majority of the spring on the road, as they only have two home matches at the Romney Tennis Courts. Their first will come on Wednesday against Alfred University. Oswego State faced off against the Saxons in the fall season, falling 7-2 on Sept. 22. The Lakers’ points came from a singles victory by Tosti and a doubles win from Tosti and senior Sam Carges.
Their final home match will be on their last match of the season. Oswego State will host Keuka College on April 23, which is also the Lakers’ Senior Day. It will be Oswego State’s second matchup against the Storm, as the team will travel to Keuka on Tuesday.
Between their two home matches, the Lakers will play five times on the road. They will travel to St. John Fisher on Friday and then to SUNY Oneonta on April 15. The three following road matches will come against Roberts Wesleyan on April 17, Elmira College on April 20 and Keystone College on April 22 before Oswego State will return for its final match of the season.
Tosti said the Lakers will have to adapt to different atmospheres, due to the abundance of road matches on their upcoming spring schedule.
“The road is much harder than home, anyone will tell you that,” Tosti said. “Some of the indoor facilities have much different lighting and roll than our courts. Another problem will be the ‘bus legs’ too. That’s where our conditioning and stretching is going to be big for us.”
The road matches against Roberts Wesleyan and Elmira are rematches for the Lakers. Both prior matches ended in 9-0 losses for Oswego State, with the first match against Roberts Wesleyan coming at the beginning of the fall season at home on Sept. 7.
No Lakers won more than one match in either singles or doubles through the fall season, as they held a .292 winning percentage (7-17) in singles and .333 (4-8) in doubles matches at the conclusion of the fall session. Tosti had the highest winning percentage of any member of the team, as he won one of two singles matches and two of his four doubles matches.
Sophomore D.J. Esposito-Kelley, junior Max McCune, Moores and Van Hine Jr. were the only other Lakers to record singles victories in the fall. Kelley is not returning to the team in the spring, due to what was described as “personal matters.” With the loss of Kelley, Tosti believes he will see more action in singles play.
“I’m pretty sure I will see some solid time this year in the five and six singles spot,” Tosti said.
The Lakers hope those numbers will improve in the spring, as they plan to end their season on a positive note.
“This is our season and this is where it really counts,” Tosti said.