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New faces and time constraints affect men’s tennis team

Nick Valenzuela, Staff Writer

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Every team in every sport will see good seasons and bad seasons. They will play strong games and weak games. They will find both glory and defeat.

For Cosumnes River College’s men’s tennis team, the 2014 season proved to be a rough season on the surface. However, despite finishing the season with a 2-8 record, not all involved with the team saw it as a failure.

“From an outside looking in you would look at the total record and say that it was a tough season,” said Nicholas Podesta, head men’s tennis coach. “But the reality is, if you look at the situation at the beginning of the year to where we were at the end of the year, I thought it was incredibly productive, I thought it was a very good season.”

We didn’t bring any players back from last year, we were in a position where we were literally trying to almost field a roster on the spot.”

— Nicholas Podesta

The Hawks saw a team entirely composed of fresh faces, some of which were completely new to competitive sports.

“It was pretty tough because I got the job so late, I got the position so late that I didn’t really have time to even recruit a roster,” Podesta said. “We didn’t bring any players back from last year, we were in a position where we were literally trying to almost field a roster on the spot.”

Podesta said he thought the season was productive in terms of improvement and using available resources.

“We didn’t get a chance to recruit any players or hold try outs, we just kind of took all of our players as volunteers,” said freshman tennis player Kevin Yu. “Basically anyone who came to play could.”

Yu agreed with Podesta, saying he thought Podesta did well with the little time he was given.

“Our overall conference record was 2-8, but considering the fact that our coach didn’t have a lot of time on his hands, we still did pretty good,” Yu said. “Our coach started late and did what he could did for our team.”

Despite the losses, the Hawks found themselves able to overcome a Big 8 rival in both a home and away game.

“The two matches we won were against Sac City, which were tough games,” said Brian Leung, freshman tennis player.

Leung, who has been playing tennis for four years, will return to the team next season.

As for the rest of next season’s team, Podesta has a very positive outlook.

“We’ll be healthier. The thing was, with quite a few of the players on the team, they were relatively new to the sport,” Podesta said. “Just in terms of conditioning and stuff like that they just didn’t have it. They could be competitive, but they could lose their legs later on in the match because they didn’t have the ability to cover a whole lot of ground and they were more susceptible to injury because they hadn’t been exposed to competitive athletics before.”

Podesta also said next season’s team is already showing promise in experienced new faces.

“This upcoming year will be my first actual recruiting class and we’re going to have an influx of new talent,” Podesta said. “We’ve already had a couple of commitments from some area players that are very, very good. They’re going to come in and right away make us better.

“We’re just going to have a better talent pool.”

Stacey Harris and Emiliano Martin contributed to this story.

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New faces and time constraints affect men’s tennis team