Men’s tennis reigns: starts spring season as regional, conference champions


Courtesy of SEU Athletics Communications

Senior Chase Morehouse currently has an SEU career 22-10 singles record.

After last year’s Heartland Conference Championship title and South Central Region I title, St. Edward’s men’s tennis team is ready to start their quest for another Heartland Conference title.

Head Coach Estevam Strecker’s desire for the team this season is to make it into the nationals, be competitive and win. “In order to do that, everyone will have to do their part of the job no matter if they’re a junior, sophomore or freshman [they] need to come out here and practice hard every day and get better,” Strecker said.

Strecker believes a strength of the team is their willingness to compete as hard as they can and their tenacity. “It’s comforting and gives you confidence to know you have nine guys who, at any time, can step in and play any position you ask them to play,” Strecker said.

Last semester junior Chase Bartlett secured the Intercollegiate Tennis Association South Central Regional Singles title, which was the first earned title of this category in SEU athletics history.

Bartlett competed in the regional final against his teammate, freshman Anish Sriniketh, which was the first time that two players from the same team competed in the regional final. “We’re both ranked top twenty right now and I couldn’t be more excited to see where the season takes us,” Bartlett said.

From last season to this season, the team hasn’t changed much. In singles, every player is back and in doubles only one player was replaced. “By sheer work we should be better than last year,” Strecker said, “We added a very solid freshman that’s definitely going to make us better.”

Apart from that freshman, everyone on the team knows what a season looks like and what to expect so Strecker believes the experience the team carries is going to pay off.

Senior Chase Morehouse sees growth in the team this year compared to last and accredits it to going to nationals. “For every single one of us except one, it was the first time we’ve been to nationals,” Morehouse said. “I think we gained a lot of experience that we can use for this coming year at nationals if we make it there.”

Last season’s success gives us a lot of hope, but of course nothing is guaranteed in sport and that’s true at any program,” Bartlett said. “Going forward we’ll play with high hopes and give our best every time.”

This year is Strecker’s first recruited senior class. After spending four years with these seniors, his hope for them is to go out in “blades of glory” and have the best year of their college careers on the team.

The season opens on Feb. 1 at Austin Tennis Academy where the Hilltoppers will be hosting Concordia University at noon and Southwestern University at 6 p.m.

Strecker has two goals for the season opener: for everyone to play and to see how the team responds to the start of the season. Morehouse and Bartlett are excited to see how the team competes and get ready for the upcoming season.