Trinity Lutheran tennis loses to South Central


Coach Kable Walton says members of his Trinity Lutheran tennis team need to become more consistent in their matches.

“I think where they’re having problems is the number of mistakes and consistency,” the first-year Trinity coach said after his team lost 5-0 to South Central at home Tuesday afternoon.

“When you give unforced errors in tennis, especially in tennis that isn’t an incredibly high level, you’re just going to lose the game.”

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The Cougars had a difficult day against the visitors.

“They need to finish their points and they need to be sure that they’re not losing the points and giving them to the opponent, as well,” Walton said.

Walton said his players also need to improve their serving.

“A lot of the guys have decent first serves, but in tennis the second serve is just as important,” he said. “A lot of the guys have really weak second serves. It’s something that you’ve just got to practice. You’ve got to get out there and really hammer them away.”

Both of Trinity’s doubles teams lost in straight sets to the Rebels, but fell 7-5 in their second sets.

Trinity’s No. 1 doubles team of Nathan Voelker and Soloman Hall lost 6-2, 7-5 to Ty Jones and Evan Schroer, while Luke Pollert and Thomas Tomack came up short 6-1, 7-5 to Ethan Hoerder and Collin Cunningham at No. 2 doubles.

Despite being shut out, Walton said the team is getting better.

“I’m seeing a lot of improvement,” Walton said, “especially in their actual strategy in positioning on the court. We’ve been working on that a lot in practice. They’re really showing a lot of good work out there and being competitive, especially on the doubles.”

Bigger leaps need to come in singles matches, too.

“The singles is a different story,” Walton said. “I need to figure out the secret to that one. We’ll work on that in practice.”

Trinity’s Ryan Kleman lost his No. 1 singles match 6-1, 6-1 to Frank Goodson, Cameron Gruenwald lost 6-1, 6-1 to Dawson O’Connor at No. 2 singles, and Henry hall came up short 6-1, 6-0 to Craig Simpson at No. 3 singles.

Kleman, who has played No. 1 singles all season said, “I need to get off to a good start and make sure my consistency is good so I can hit those nice line shots. I need to get better with my consistency because I hit a lot into the net. My forehand is decent, but it could use some work.”

He said he is trying out a new serve.

“I tried a new first serve in practice Monday and in today’s game,” Kleman said. “I liked it, but I need to work on it a little bit more.”

The Cougars (0-4) are scheduled to play at Henryville on Thursday, then compete in the Southern Indiana Tennis Conference tournament at Southwestern (Hanover) Saturday.

“What I look forward to is they’ll be able to play a couple matches, more than one match to really tune in their game,” Walton said. “When we come here and get a not-so-good-line of matches going they can just return and refocus because it’s really about motivation for a lot of these guys.

“It’s just staying focused and being motivated to get better, and I think they’ll do OK.”

Kleman said he is looking forward to the tournament and getting off to a good start by taking the first set.

“If you don’t win the first set then you have to win the next two, and there is a lot more pressure to get the next two.

“Winning the first one gives you relief so you can totally get the next one in and win instead of having to go to the third set, which is a lot more exercise,” Kleman said. “We, as a team, need to gain confidence.”

Walton said his players need to work on the mental part of their games, and getting off to better starts.

“In tennis, if you get killed in the first set you’re totally demoralized for the second,” he said, “especially if you’re not a super experienced player like a lot of these guys are. If you get a strong start it changes everything.”

The game can be as much in players’ heads as in physical performance.

“A lot of time it’s just their mental game,” Walton said. “Being there, showing up just hitting the balls and being willing to grind it out with the other guy. Come and play every point.”{/div}

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