Team starts from scratch

Sophomore Kriegler Brink said this season will be one of learning about each other and transition.”We are starting from scratch – new coach, small team, new guys coming in,” Brink said.

Head coach Dave Borelli said he is approaching this season as multistep process to improve every player’s individual game.

Seeing how the players hit the ball at the Baylor tournament, where there will be 30 Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranked players, will be the initial step, he said.

“It’s a good chance so far and one step toward becoming better players,” Borelli said. “This year is more related to the individuals rather than the team. We’re just starting again, and my real major concern is, first and foremost, the improvement of each player on the team. If they all improve, then things are going to be going in a good way.”

As the former women’s coach, Borelli said he does not anticipate altering his coaching strategy.

“I think the most important thing is to focus in particular with these boys and the idea that it’s important to stay on process and try to play an individual approach to becoming a better player,” he said.

The team prepares for tournaments by splitting time on the court with time in the weight room, senior Andrew Ulrich said.

“We’ve been practicing hard and making sure we keep up our lifting and making sure our bodies are in good enough condition so that we can handle multiple matches in one day,” he said. “We’re used to playing three to four hours a day, so that’s not really a big deal for us.”

Four returning players and two transfers, Stuart Row, a junior from Trinity University, and Chris Biro, a graduate student from Arizona State, make up the squad, Borelli said.

Brink said the six men are still young as far as camaraderie goes, but he looks forward to developing relationships with his fellow teammates.

“Even though, we have four coming back, we are still a young team,” Brink said. “I think we can build good team spirit by getting to know each other and working hard.

Each player understands that hard work got him to his current level of play and is motivated to improve, Borelli said.

“Player for player is really appreciative of what they have and where they are,” Borelli said. “That’s always a good place to start. I’ve got six really great kids.