Tennis team is wrapping up season in Mississippi

Players string their points together

ALEX DAVIS Staff Writer

As Loyola’s 2012 tennis season winds down, the men’s and women’s teams have been struggling to compete with the more experienced teams.

Two of the team’s past opponents this year have been high-ranking teams. According to coach Zubin Engineer, Shorter University is 15th and Xavier University is ninth out of all college tennis teams. He said that their opponents’ experience is one reason Loyola lost against them.

“All the players need to string more points together,” Engineer said. In addition to stringing together more points, he said both teams have to adapt to the other team’s skill level. “For a rematch, the team needs to be open and see what they can do,” he said.

For their final two home games, Loyola played Spring Hill College on March 23 and William Carey University on March 24. Loyola played well but ultimately ended up losing both games.

Engineer said that although Loyola lost against Spring Hill, it was the best that Loyola has played against a conference team. The men’s team lost 4-5 and the women’s team lost 0-9.

“We were so close, but we lost by just one men’s singles match,” Engineer said.

This comes as an improvement over their last match on April 9, 2011, when the men lost 1-8 and the women lost 2-7.

First-year law student Brian Pena and economics junior Devon Belcher were the consistent victors during the Spring Hill match. In doubles, Pena and his partner, biochemistry junior Joshua Laviolette, won 8-5. Belcher and his partner, history junior Matthew Farnham, won 9-8 and 10-4.

Loyola lost against William Carey on Saturday with both the men’s and women’s teams losing 0-9. Engineer said that Saturday’s game was also unusual because assistant coach Luis Miron attended it. Miron, who is also the dean of the College of Social Sciences, can not attened all games because of his current position as dean. Miron said that in the few months he has been an assistant coach, Loyola’s tennis team has “come a long way.”

According to Engineer and Miron, William Carey’s tennis teams consisted mainly of international students who came to the university on full scholarships. In comparison, Loyola’s students receive only partial scholarships for athletics.

After the Easter break, Loyola’s last two games will be in Jackson, Miss. against Belhaven University and Tougaloo College.

Alex Davis can be reached at

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