The Northern Kentucky University Men’s Tennis team is set to begin its spring season when the team travels to Dayton to face the Flyers on Feb. 20.
NKU Head Coach Geoff Crawford said he feels confident in his team’s depth and predicts a good season for the Norse, who closed their previous season with a 7-13 overall record (4-6 Great Lakes Valley Conference) after losing to Drury in the quarterfinals round of the GLVC tournament last year.
‘I feel very good about our chances the (team’s) chances this year,’ he said.’
He added that he doesn’t attribute the tournament loss to lack of effort or talent but rather to nerves, admitting the team ‘might have been a little intimidated.’
NKU Women’s Tennis Team stand-out Stephanie Isaacs said she too has high hope for the men’s team this upcoming season.
‘They are so talented and I think they are going to be tough this year,’ she said. ‘I’m looking forward to cheering them on.’
The Norse have reached a couple milestones since the tournament loss — the team will boast it’s largest roster so far, with nine eligible players, and Crawford will be entering his 20th season as the team’s head coach.’
Fritz Dlabik, one of three seniors on the team, said he sees a lot of potential in the team’s four freshmen.
‘We have a lot of young talent on this team, and I believe with (Crawford’s) experience and (Assistant Coach) Scott Moreland’s intensity and passion for the game, these young players can compete at the top of the conference,’ he said.
Moreover, Dlabik may be able to offer the newcomers some expertise off the court as well, as he is one of seven Norse men’s tennis players to be named to the GLVC All Conference Academic Team with a 4.0 grade point average. Dlabik, who played No. 1 singles and doubles last season, regards making the academic accomplishments as as indication that he’s a student-athlete who can keep all aspects of his life balanced
‘It shows that I am able to maintain (great grades) with managing work, classes and the tennis season,’ he said.
The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The Norse will begin the home portion of their schedule when they host Xavier on April 2 at 3 p.m.