PSU tennis looks to build

@head:Portland State tennis looks to build

@deck:Coach Lewis remains realistic and aims for progress

@by:Mike Norris

@email:[email protected]

@body:The Portland State men’s and women’s tennis teams have had a tough time getting wins at the Division I level, but they have improved a great deal since last season.

The Division I level has a lot of tough teams and PSU is just not at the same playing level. The Vikings also are given a tough schedule playing against top ranked teams.

With a tight budget for both the men’s and women’s team, they compete the best they can. Learning your opponent is a major advantage and almost a necessity in athletics. Unfortunately, the teams budget doesn’t allow room to scout other players or watch film on the upcoming teams.

On the women’s side, many players like Katie Slizewski, got off to a rough start, but have settled in. Senior Abby Schagunn leads the women’s team with two wins. One win was by forfeit and the other was a hard fought comeback against Melanie Kraul of Idaho State.

“She (Schagunn) played a tremendous match; she gave a great effort and played with determination,” head coach Leslie Lewis said.

Another key player for the women’s team is Karolina Puk, who brings her high school experience as well as a great attitude and just needs to get the rust off, according to Lewis.

In her third year as head coach Lewis sees the difference in the men’s play as like night and day compared to last year.

The men’s team last faced Denver’s Pioneers and fell 6-0. This was another match for the team to build on and improve.

“The guys are making good progress and they are competing,” Lewis stated in a recent press release.

The close match of the day came from sophomore Michael Thoeresz. Thoeresz lost his No.1 match to Denver’s Magnus Ramfelt after forcing a super tie-breaker, 5-7, 6-2 (10-5).

Lewis keeps pushing her players, not letting their record get in the way. She wants the teams to make progress every month and every match.

“If not this one, then the next one,” Lewis said in regards to winning the matches.

The women’s team will take on Gonzaga at the University of Portland this Friday at 6 p.m. The men host Eastern Washington Thursday and Friday in the Peter Stott Center at 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.