From 4,000 Miles apart to Teammates: Meet the Newcomers for Men’s Tennis

Media by Seth Isringhausen.

The weather in southern Illinois is beginning to drop, but the tennis balls are still flying high. The teams are continuing to get some dry days in between the weathered ones, but they were far and few between for a period of time. As some nice days are reaching us in the late and middle November, it’s a great time to introduce the new players’ that the men’s tennis team gained this year, and how fall practices shaped up for them.

The first of the two newcomers is Luke Motsinger from Marion. Motsinger’s passion for tennis is a bright light in his life and he genuinely enjoys his time on the courts. Off, however, Motsinger likes to hang out with friends and explore nature. He also mentioned that he loves competition, so an occasional pickup game of basketball can be found on his agenda.

Luke Motsinger. Media by Luke Motsinger.

Motsinger’s love for tennis had heavy implications as to why he chose Greenville. “There is nothing I’d rather be doing than playing tennis… I felt like Coach Brannon could bring the best out of me as a player.” As far as fall practices go, it sounds like he is right where he wants to be and doing exactly what he wants. Motsinger said that practices have been going well. Along with mentioning aspects of his games he is working on, Motsinger believes he has gotten a lot better since coming here, and has been a good fit for the team.

Motsinger says he will continue to work in the offseason and train to be a great tennis player, but an even better teammate. “I think to be the best team we can be, we need to stay together and form even better relationships.”

Thibaut Tignee. Media by Thibaut Tignee.

Thibaut Tignee is the second newcomer, and he is coming a bit farther than Motsinger’s hometown of Marion. Born all the way over in Belgium, Tignee has paved his path to Greenville through tennis. From courts to fields, to piano keys, he has tried a little bit of everything growing up. Before recently, Tignee played “high levels” of basketball and then faded into tennis and found himself sticking to it. He mentioned, “Coach Brannon asked me after seeing my video if I wanted to join the team and study here at the same time,” and he saw this as a great opportunity.

Tignee also believed that fall practices have gone well. He was excited to meet the team and get back to playing tennis after “…all those months quarantining back home [in Belgium].” An interesting obstacle that Tignee faced when coming to play tennis in America was the actual surface of the courts. “I had to get used to the new surface because most of the courts in Belgium are clay courts” (See the difference it makes here). He said that the play of the ball is a lot different, and just one more thing he wants to improve on as he continues to play here. He believes that the group of men for this year’s team is a good one that “can do some damage.” These two players will look to bring their differences and look to thrive on them with their new squad here.

Media by Seth Isringhausen.

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