Written by Joe Hubbs. Media by Ryan St. Hill.
As the snow melts and spring kicks in, the Greenville Panthers tennis teams are ready to start serving. Coming off a 2012 record of 9-11, fourth in conference, the men’s team has already worked their way to improvement with a 7-2 victory at Illinois College in late February. In singles, sophomores Alex Dowley, Jordan Tingle, Andrew Herlein, and senior Ryan Mulholland each won their match. In a sport not known for a team mentality, the men also went 2 for 3 in doubles matches. Under coach Brannon, the men have been working hard all fall to prepare themselves for a tough spring season including six SLIAC, conference matches. A young, yet experienced roster of men look to bounce back from a tough 2-3 conference record last year when Principia beat them twice, including a tournament defeat. Seniors Jonathan Allen and Ryan Mulholland will lead the team Monday, March 11th, during spring break, when the Panthers travel to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for a week long stand. The men play Messiah and Gordon on Monday, Heidelberg on Tuesday, and wrap it up against Mt. Union on Friday. Regular play continues all the way through the Concordia and SLIAC tournaments in late April.
The women’s tennis team also heads to Hilton Head Island for spring break in which they play five games including two conference matchups against Heidelberg and Edgewood. Last year the ladies finished 2-3 for fourth place in the SLIAC, and a 4-5 overall record. The ladies have a lot of leaders within their group, ready to build upon a subpar record. Three-time SLIAC tennis coach of the year, Pam Craig, returns for her twentieth straight year, pushing the ladies hard on the court, and in the gym if the weather does not allow. A class of three seniors also returns to the court to push the team to new extremes. Jamie Harling, Kat Kennedy, and Kristin Minshall seek to leave a lasting impression with the team by competing in eight conference matches. On top of the senior leaders, SLIAC honorable mentions Kristen Lynch and Chelsie Evans who competed together in doubles for an outstanding 6-2 record return as well. Lynch put up an incredible 7-2 singles record on top of that. A group of three freshmen, under the tutelage of such a successful crowd, have already learned a lot, and that only continues over the course of the season. Other than competing for a top spot in the conference, the Panthers accomplishments will include the molding of these three into top notch tennis players.
The men’s team plays their first home game Saturday, March 23 and the women on the 30th . Both teams conclude their seasons at the always heated SLIAC Tournament. Come support your Panthers tennis teams as their journey for first begins.