Wouter Hendrix, last year’s coach of Lehigh men’s tennis team, oversaw a program that had just come off its fourth straight winning year. His responsibility has increased as he is now coaching both the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Lehigh, as each gets set to begin the spring season.
Hendrix is no stranger to the tennis program. He coached the men’s team for the previous two years and also served as a coach’s assistant for both the men’s and women’s programs.
The women’s team is said to have its strongest and most talented team this year as it works to improve its 7-10 record from last season.
“He has placed a huge focus on conditioning,”sophomore Jamie Campisi said. “Continuing to get in better shape under his guidance is a personal goal that will help me win the tough matches.”
Campisi battled through a few injuries last season and still managed to go 7-3 in singles matches and 4-0 during Patriot League play last year.
“We’re definitely focusing on being positive and creating a great team atmosphere,” junior Marian Prim said. “We have a very young team with unbelievable potential, so keeping them motivated and focused is our main goal.”
So far the women are 1-1 this season, taking a close 4-3 loss Wednesday in their season opener against the University of Delaware and a 6-1 win Saturday against Niagara University. Prim feels they proved that they have a strong team in their first two matches even without one of the team’s most talented player, freshman Christina Auyeung, who is out with a concussion.
Campisi said Auyeung’s absence is a struggle for the team, but they still played well.
“Everybody stepped up and made sure we had a strong start to the season, despite having to switch around doubles teams and move players up in singles play,”Campisi said.
On the men’s team, junior Jeremy Kochman feels that the doubles point in the team’s matches is what they need to work on the most in preparing for the 2015 spring season. The team went 12-8 last season and looks to win the Patriot League this year. The last time the team won the league was the 2013 season, when it earned a 4-0 win over Navy at the end of the season.
In their first match Saturday, the men were able to overcome Niagara 4-3 even after losing the doubles point. Sophomore Ethan Bogard clinched the match for the team, winning at No. 6 singles.
The men’s team has confidence in its members going into the season, including its number one player, senior Ben Gilman. Gilman has made first-team all-league for the past three years and won a team-high 12 singles matches last season.
The men’s second match is against Monmouth University, whose number one player is regionally ranked.
“I hope Gilman can set the tone for us against their top guy…and without the doubles point, we probably won’t be able to pull off the comeback like we did Saturday,” Kochman said.
The match begins on Sunday at noon and the women’s third match is against Drexel University on Feb. 7 at 11 a.m.