Men’s and women’s tennis begin season

Matt Hopper

The men’s tennis team ended its spring season with a first round loss in the NCAA tournament to Arkansas after winning the Missouri Valley Conference Championship. 

Five Shockers travel this weekend to Midland, Texas, to compete in the Midland Fall Invitational. Senior Jocelyn Devilliers and sophomore Haru Inoue will team up in doubles this tournament while Vitor Mendes and Eddie Stoica will round out another team. The four doubles players and redshirt sophomore Austin Williams are expected to compete well in singles play. 

Head coach Danny Bryan looks for this first tournament to be a refresher for the guys who have not had much competition since the spring.

“We don’t have many expectations result wise,” Bryan said.  “Our main goal is going to be how we compete and how we handle ourselves.” 

Bryan’s attitude of continually competing and working hard has been passed to his players. His seniors have taken his philosophy to heart. 

“Vitor and Jocelyn have really stood out to me,” Bryan said. “They have definitely led by example.”

Senior Vitor Mendes agreed that they are hoping to have an influence on the other players and their will to compete.

“We try to guide the guys, not by delegating stuff, but more as doing and showing how we are supposed to do,” Mendes said. “Through that, we motivate them to keep fighting.”

Women’s tennis will be traveling to Des Moines, Iowa to compete in the Drake Invitational this weekend. Last year the Shockers earned a bid into the NCAA tournament for the tenth time since 2006. The Shockers dominated the Missouri Valley last season with a record of 42-1 against MVC opponents. 

All six Shockers on the roster will be competing this weekend in singles and doubles. The format consists of at least three matches in singles and doubles for all players.

This weekend will begin the college careers of freshmen Marija Mastilovic and Ting-Ya Hsu. 

“We’re not going to put any pressure on them for results,” head coach Colin Foster said. 

The team is looking for their freshmen to become integral in replacing the seniors from last year. 

“We want them to play their best and feel this is where they are comfortable and able to grow,” senior Whitley Quan said. 

This year’s team will be led by last year’s MVC Player of the Year, Gabriela Porubin. Porubin had a record of 26-11 last year and competed for a berth into the U.S. Open with former Shocker Julia Schiller, where they lost to the eventual qualifiers after having match points.

Foster believes her ability to contend with some of the best players this summer will give her confidence leading into the tournament and season. 

“She’s one of the best players in college tennis,” Foster said.