Florida tour opens NCC tennis season
By Rob Wollenzien For Sun-Times Media March 11, 2011 7:44PM
March 18-22 — Six matches in Orlando, Fla.
April 1 — University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., 1 p.m.
April 2 — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, NCC Tennis Courts, 9 a.m. Details
April 2 — Augustana College, NCC Tennis Courts, 3 p.m.
April 6 — Judson University, NCC Tennis Courts, 3:30 p.m.
April 8 — Carthage College, Kenosha, Wis., 3:30 p.m.
April 10 — University of Chicago, NCC Tennis Courts, noon
April 12 — Illinois Wesleyan University, NCC Tennis Courts, 4 p.m.
April 17 — Lake Forest College, NCC Tennis Courts, 3 p.m.
April 19 — Aurora University, NCC Tennis Courts, 3 p.m.
April 21 — Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, 3:30 p.m.
April 25 — Wheaton College, NCC Tennis Courts, 3:30 p.m.
April 25 — Concordia University Chicago, NCC Tennis Courts, 3:30 p.m
May 6-7 — CCIW Championships, Bloomington, TBA
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
The North Central men’s tennis team hopes to continue the improvement it displayed since Mike Patrick became coach two years ago.
They went from sixth place (of six CCIW teams) prior to his arrival to fifth place in 2009 and fourth in 2010.
If a come-from-behind 5-4 match victory over Saint Mary’s University (Minn.) is any indication of the North Central team’s strides, this spring could turn out to be a breakthrough season.
“I tried to really make it an understanding that every position is important,” Patrick says. “No matter what spot you play, you are still an important part of the team. No. 3 doubles is just as important as No. 1 singles.”
Team unity and resolve kicked in during the team’s most recent match.
The Cardinals competed in their March 6 spring opener without top player Sam Sweeney but did not waver despite a slow start. After NCC dropped two of three doubles matches, the lower part of the singles roster picked up the slack.
Eric McKee (No. 3 singles), Josh Clay (No. 5) and No. 6 Eric Mutka all won two-set matches. Matt Boguslawski won in three sets while filling in at No. 1 singles.
Since Patrick came to North Central, the Cardinals have turned their season into more of a year-round commitment. Even so, team members continue to keep everything in perspective.
“They all work hard but they’re also funny,” Patrick says.
“It’s nice to see them enjoy themselves and work hard at something they love.”
Sweeney has won CCIW titles in both singles and doubles each of the past two years. He was rated as the top Division III singles player in the Central Region and the fifth-best player in the country, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings released last November.
The Cardinals play six matches in Orlando, Fla., from March 18-22 as a tuneup for the conference season.