The 2015 fall season has come to a close for the Oswego State women’s tennis team, finishing with final record of 4-10 and a conference record of 1-2. And with the completion of the season comes the end of Shane Evans’ first stint as head coach.
The Lakers fell to Oneonta and Plattsburgh in their last two games of the season at the SUNYAC Championship in Binghamton the past weekend, but Evans believes it was a positive first experience.
“Even though we lost it was still a great experience,” he said. “It was nice to test the waters and get a feel for how we do in that environment. It was definitely a lot of fun regardless of the results.”
Even though the season did not go ideally record-wise, Evans reflected on his first experience and the positives he takes away from it.
“I wish we got a few more wins under our belt,” he said. “But nonetheless I feel like we really improved as a team. We really focused on our strengths and we recognize our weaknesses. We have a lot to look forward to.”
With just three seniors graduating this year, the young coach will be working with most of the same team for the season. Evans says that will help him get to know his team even better.
“It’s been fun,” Evans said about working with this year’s roster. “I look forward to continue getting to know the team. Having most of them back will definitely help us grow.”
Although having the returners back is a big help, Evans added that losing any seniors, no matter how few, has a huge impact on the team.
“They’re a crucial part of our team,” he said of the seniors. “They’re the leaders on this team. It’s unfortunate we have to see them go.”
Among the three graduating players is senior Alicia Kreamer, who touched on her experience in her final season and with her new coach.
“It’s been a lot of fun this year,” Kreamer said. “Shane brought in some new techniques that really helped me. It was really a great experience. Definitely going to miss it.”
With the departing seniors comes the need for replacements, and that is where the offseason recruiting process comes into play.
Evans touched on beginning his first experience recruiting new players.
“I think it has worked out well so far,” he said. “It’s definitely hard to replace the talent we’re losing in them [the three seniors], but I definitely feel like it’s all coming together. I already have a few players who are interested.”
With such a professional attitude at the young age of 21, Evans seems to have transitioned nicely into the coaching realm.
One of his players, junior Leslie Usherwood, could not agree more with this assessment.
“He definitely seems very experienced for his age,” Usherwood said. “He knows a lot about coaching and the game of tennis. He does a nice job of making the learning experience fun.”
Alicia Kreamer added that his comparable age helped the team develop a stronger relationship with Evans faster.
“He came in and really fit in with us right away,” Kreamer said. “I think it has a lot to do with him being able to relate to us.”
With his first season in the books, Evans looks toward next season with the confidence his new team has in him.
“It was a great learning experience for sure,” Evans said. “Knowing what I know about myself and the players, I am looking forward to the spring and next fall with high hopes.”