With spring term almost upon us, the Portland State men’s and women’s tennis teams are gearing up for another racquet-swinging season. Both teams are under the direction of head coach Leslie Lewis, who is looking forward to a good year.
The women’s team has already competed in 13 match-ups and their record currently stands at 1-12. The men’s record is slightly better at 2-8, but Lewis is certain that both teams are on the upswing.
Currently, sophomore Michael Thoeresz and junior Kapil Desai head up the men’s team at the number one and two positions, respectively.
On the women’s side, the number one and two spots are occupied by junior Katie Slizewski and freshman Blaze Wadum. Lewis sees the teams as a “choo-choo train,” with an engine and several cars. The engine on Lewis’ train is her number one and two players. She feels that if they can start winning matches and improving their skills, the other players will follow suit.
Thoeresz and Desai are two of the players that Lewis looks to help provide leadership and motivation for the team. If they continue to improve at the rate they have been, Lewis is confident they will be formidable opponents very soon.
“They are playing well against every opponent they’ve played,” Lewis said. “That’s the way it should be.”
Lewis is very optimistic about the future of Portland State tennis, mainly because this year’s team is young and has so much room to mature and grow. However, Lewis tells her players to focus on their task at hand and not to get caught up thinking too much about the future.
“We are in the here and now,” Lewis said. “Every point counts, every match counts. I expect them to perform now.”
The women’s team is the largest it is been since Lewis has been at Portland State. It now stands at six players. While this might not be a large team compared to other schools, it is a complete team. This is a big turn around according to Lewis, because with a complete team, they don’t have to forfeit matches like they did last year, which can cost a team a lot of points.
Right now, Lewis wants both teams to be thinking about the NCAA tournament later in the year, which three out of the four Big Sky teams will get the opportunity to compete in. The three teams will be determined at regional competition towards the end of April.
The other teams in Portland State’s division are Northern Arizona University, UC Sacramento and Weber State. Lewis knows that these are three very tough teams, but is confident that her players will provide even tougher competition.
“We’re ready to take the next step,” Lewis said. “It’s just a matter of time before we’re just going to break through.”
Those who would like to attend Portland State tennis matches should contact the East Mooreland Racquet Club for a schedule of matches.