The men’s and women’s tennis teams have seen a host of changes over the season. As previous head coach John Stuckey departs to head up the Bulldog’s program at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas. The Tigers welcome Coach Nick Rohner to take over the reigns. Coach Rohner comes to the Tigers from Central College in Pella, Iowa, where he was an assistant coach. Rohner is an alumni of Central College where he had been involved with all aspects of the tennis program since 2008.
With Stuckey’s impromptu resignation, Rohner comes to the Tigers on Sept. 1, having not been able to do much of his own recruiting. Neither the men’s nor the women’s side waited long to give Rohner his first win as a Tiger. Playing a fall and spring season, the Tiger men beat Indiana University East eight courts to one this past fall. The Tigers swept the singles’ courts while only dropping one match on the doubles’ side. The Tigers will have a diverse group of players on the courts with only two returning seniors, J.L. Woo and Alexey Topolyanskiy. The men’s team will play their first match of the spring season at the Dayton Center Courts facilities before going to Orlando, Florida to play five matches in five days on their spring break training trip.
On the women’s side, they also welcomed Coach Rohner to Wittenberg with a win. In the women’s one and only fall match, they defeated Heidelberg six courts to two, before the final match was finalized due to darkness. The Tiger women saw the same results in doubles’ as the men, only dropping one court to the opponent. Rohner is trying to instill this theme in his team this upcoming season and throughout his career here at Wittenberg. Though there are less double matches played on a day, they are the first matches of the day played, so they can really set the mood for the day. Rohner would like to see more success out of his double teams in the upcoming seasons than there has been in the past, in order to take some pressure off of the singles’ courts.
This year, the Tigers will be led by three seniors, Georgia Bennett, Meghan Depew and Lexi Garza. The women’s team will not be joining the men’s team in Orlando for a spring break training trip, as they opened their season at the Dayton Center Courts facilities against St. Mary of Indiana this past Saturday.
“I’m looking forward to playing again as a senior and expecting to face some great competition that will only make our team better tennis players,” Bennett said.
With a new coach at the helm, the women look to improve from their 6-11 record from last season, and 0-3 in the NCAC.
“I think Coach Rohner is a valuable asset to the Wittenberg coaching staff,” Bennett said. “During practice, he is really interactive and focuses on team unity. He understands the importance of recruiting, which I think will help bring talented men and women to Wittenberg and strengthen the program.”
This will be their only match until after spring break until they begin conference play, where they will open up at DePauw on Mar. 18. This upcoming season will be one full of travel, as it shows the Tigers hosting three matches this spring. The men finished last season 11 -10, 2-2 in the NCAC.