Northwest tennis is coming off of a pair of tough losses against two nationally ranked opponents in Springfield, Missouri, March 1-2. The Bearcats trip was unsuccessful, as they were swept in three of the four games played.
The men’s team dropped both duals with a score of 7-0 against No. 22 Drury and No. 9 Indianapolis, while the women lost to Drury 5-2 and 7-0 to No. 1 Indianapolis
Coach Mark Rosewell did not shy away from the team’s poor outing but also found areas to improve upon in the team’s struggles.
“Unfortunately, we were not very successful this weekend,” Rosewell said. “The good thing is we have an opportunity to fix things, being this early in the season. You also need to keep in mind that both of those programs are very successful and well coached.”
Rosewell mentioned the prestige of both programs and how they presented a challenge going into the weekend.
“There really is not much to it, we just got our tails kicked,” Rosewell said. “Those are some tough teams to play this early in the year, considering three of them were ranked nationally among Division II coming into the duals.”
These duals reflect what Northwest is trying to change about their culture this spring by gaining experience through their play. Both programs have competed in at least six more duels so far this season. It appears the Bearcats may still be attempting to shake off some rust from the offseason having only played in three duals at this point in the year.
With a loaded schedule approaching Northwest, there is no time to waste.
Rosewell said he still feels his teams have plenty of room to grow with the season just starting. He emphasized the importance of his players taking those losses and growing from them. With just two seniors on the men’s team and none on the women’s, there is a lack of experience as a result.
“We are still a very young team that is a majority of underclassmen,” Rosewell said. “Being young is not a negative; it just gives you more opportunities to learn from those mistakes and correct them.”
Rosewell believes his team is headed in the right direction. There is some work that needs to be done, but Rosewell has been pleased with the strides the athletes have taken since last season.
“The best way to gain experience is the amount of time you put in,” Rosewell said. “It is those little things, just continuing to get different looks or practicing a certain point of your game to improve upon.”
The Bearcats will look to gain that experience throughout the season and keep building upon their mistakes to better prepare themselves for a shot at the postseason.