Men’s tennis finishes, falls to Whitman

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The Boxer men’s tennis team ended their season in Walla Walla Washington against the Whitman Missionaries April 16, with their first appearance in the Northwest Conference Championships since 2004.
Although the team had come off of a promising season, the Boxers couldn’t beat the nationally ranked Missionaries and lost 5-0.
“It was a good thing for our program and a big deal for us,” said player Derek Colley. “I am just glad that I was able to contribute to this team.”
The NWC changed the tournament format allowing only four teams to participate in the NWC Championships, in comparison to the previous amount of six teams.
The Boxers solidified their fourth place spot after beating Lewis & Clark 7-2 April 9.
According to Cooley, making it into the tournament was an iconic moment in recent Boxer tennis history.
Especially seeing as how neither Head Coach Brian Jackson nor any member of his squad had NWC tournament experience.
“I knew that people weren’t expecting much from us but I feel like we proved that we belonged and that we could play with the best of them,” said Cooley.
Another accomplishment for the team was that freshman Troy Zuroske was named to the All-NWC First Team, the only Boxer to receive All Conference Honors and only one of two freshmen out of the 14 selections to receive such honors.
Zuroske compiled an 11-4 overall record and an 8-2 record against conference opponents.
Even after their game against Whitman, the Boxers weren’t done playing tennis.
To conclude their season the Boxers traveled to Eugene to play the University of Oregon Ducks in an exhibition match.
“We were actually playing really well.
I was definitely surprised when our coach said we were playing them but it was a fun challenge playing against athletes of that caliber,” said Cooley.
It concluded what proved to be an eventful season for the Boxers.
According to Cooley the team has added multiple components to its arsenal since the pre-season that started in September.
He said they are now armed with NWC tournament experience and the experience that comes with playing a Division I caliber team.
Combine this with the fact that the Boxers are a relatively young team, with the majority of players returning next year, Cooley said he believes the men’s tennis team could be turning heads in upcoming seasons.


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