The Bucs men’s tennis just wrapped up one of the their last two fall invitationals looking to improve on a strong 2016-17.
Last season, the Bucs went 16-8 with a lot of veterans on the team. The team won the SoCon Championship, guaranteeing them a spot in the NCAA tournament. Ultimately their season came to an end after losing to South Carolina in the opening round.
The team competed in the Samford Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama. On day one, they succeeded with a perfect 8-0 on the day with strong play from their doubles pairs.
The Bucs have spent this off-season working to strengthen their fundamentals and building endurance to overcome fatigue later in the spring season. The Bucs will have one more tournament this fall before taking a break until the spring season comes around.
This season, Robert Herrera (Barcelona, Spain) will be the only senior on the team. He individually went 17-5 last season. Those 17 wins tied for most on the team just as a junior.
The team has a new head coach this year, Martin Stiegwardt, who will look to build on the road of success the Bucs have been on the past couple of years.
The team has won the conference championship back to back and has qualified for the NCAA tournament the past two years, and Stiegwardt is very qualified to lead the team to another championship. He was named 2012-13 ITA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year, and spent last year with the LSU program after having worked as an assistant coach at Auburn from 2013 to 2016.
As a team, the Bucs are still looking for that signature win over a nationally ranked team or highly ranked player in the regular season.
Over the past two years, the Bucs record is 36-14 but a majority of their losses came against high-ranked teams. The Bucs, however, have found a way to dominate when it comes to conference play.
ETSU looks for the Bucs to have those statement wins this upcoming season.