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WSU’s Ben Rode said he felt the team was hurt by a slow start and didn’t give themselves a chance to win.
“I feel like we could have competed a little better than we did,” Rode said. “We started off a little slow and some of us started to make a comeback, but it was a little too late.”
Head Coach Jared Burnham said with so many people playing, it can be difficult to pinpoint what went wrong.
“There was some good, some bad,” Burnham said. “With nine total matches it’s hard to say. Some did really well, and some need to work on stuff.”
One of the things that Burnham was pleased about was the continued good play of Simon Unger and Oliver Good in doubles play. The duo, who are ranked 44th in the nation in doubles tennis, won their second straight match in the No. 1 seed.
They knocked off the U of U team of Benito Suriano and Slim Hamza 8-1.
“Our number one doubles team is actually doing really well,” Burnham said. “They beat Utah and BYU back to back. They’re still nationally ranked and are playing well.”
Burnham said that David Hintz also played well during singles play. Hintze lost a close match against Suriano. Hintze won a close first set, taking a narrow 7-6 win. Suriano took the second set 6-4, and in the tiebreaker Hintze fell 10-4.
Burnham said that while there are individual things each player needs to improve on, the whole team needs to work on their intensity during matches.
“They’re playing like it’s January,” Burnham said. “Everybody has their own little things, but we’ve got to do a better job of being energetic. We’ve got to go after it a little more.”
Rode said despite the loss, he felt the team took some positive things from the match.
“We have a pretty young team,” Rode said. “A lot of us realized that against a better team you’ve got to come out ready to play. We realized once we got going, we can compete with them, which is good to realize then instead of in conference.”
The next test for the tennis team will come when they take on Idaho State University on Wednesday. Burnham said while ISU is in the same conference, Wednesday’s match won’t count as a conference game.
“Our conference is a little different,” Burnham said. “We don’t play all conference games at the end, but they’re spread out during the season. We play Idaho State on Wednesday, but that isn’t a conference match. Since we’re so close, we always play them twice a year.”
Rode said the team is looking forward to the match against the Bengals and expects ISU to come ready to play.
“We’re excited,” Rode said. “Idaho State has a better team this year than they have had in the past, but we feel like we do too. We’re ready to go and ready to play.”