|Second year Aidan Harris preparing to track the ball with unparalleled speed!|
Despite having a few players unavailable due to injury, the Panthers geared up to play singles and doubles tournaments against each other to test our mettle. Across two weekends, we played two doubles event and one singles tournament. While we did not want to publish the full results, we do want to acknowledge and celebrate our tournament champions!
|Second year Robby Ward captured both doubles tournament titles, partnering with Stan Morris and Noah Laber! Well done Robby!|
We could not have had a productive fall season without the incredible leadership displayed by fourth year players Nate Eazor and Thorne Gregory. Their inclusive, kind, and consistent approach allowed them to fully integrate our group despite the challenges of not being able to gather in large groups (especially when students initially arrived). Moreover, Nate and Thorne stayed optimistic and steady, providing a positive example for their teammates throughout the semester. When speaking about the team this semester and appreciating his teammate's work ethic and dedication, Thorne said it well when he stated that, "You all [his teammates] make my job of being captain easy." The same is true for the coaching staff, in that the leadership displayed by Nate and Thorne made our jobs easier as well! We are incredibly fortunate to have these two helping us to steer the ship for our wonderful group. We know they will help to keep the momentum rolling no matter what the spring semester throws our way.
While these two have developed into incredible leaders over their four years, as you can see below, they do not seem to have aged a single day! Their headshots from their freshmen year are on the left and senior year on the right! Timeless!
Winter Outlook and Beyond
The college recently announced that all winter sports will not be able to compete in outside competitions and will be limited to practice and training as we were this fall. These are very difficult decisions that are not made lightly, and we appreciate that the college is placing the safety and education of our students first. Relative to spring sports, the college has stated the following message: "While we are not yet able to make a decision about spring athletics, we expect conditions to be similar to those of the current semester. We will make an announcement about NESCAC play at a later date. Even if there is not full NESCAC conference play, we will do everything we can to work toward limited regional play in the warmer months, as COVID-19 conditions allow."
While it is heartbreaking to recognize that we still may not be back to full competition by the spring, we take confidence in our ability to adapt and keep our program moving forward as best we can. Our players are considering many options as we navigate different possible outcomes for the spring. We hold out some hope that with a vaccine or major positive changes in the national pandemic, we might be able to have a more full spring season. In the event that our ability to compete this spring is largely limited, many of our group may choose to take a gap semester or study remotely and are seeking options that allow them to be together (hopefully competing in tournaments in warm weather somewhere) even if not back with us on campus. As coaches, we view our role as supporting each of our players and their families in making a decision that helps them to have the very best four year college experience!
While we continue to navigate these uncertain times, we will stay focused one day at a time. The coaches recently wrapped up our on court work with the players, and met individually with each player to ensure we had a strong developmental plans in place to keep the momentum of our progress going during captain led training.
|Nobody epitomizes the consistent hard work and dedication of our group better than third year and future medical doctor Zach Hilty!|