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Tennis: LWC 2023 Season Preview

The Lindsey Wilson men's and women's tennis teams prepare for the upcoming 2023 season as head coaches Camilo Erazo and Gema Mendoza have unveiled their team's schedule.

Both Erazo and Mendoza enter into their second seasons with the Blue Raiders. Erazo's men's side finished 2022 going 20-4, adding on a perfect 10-0 in Mid-South Conference play, throughout the regular season and falling to Middle Georgia State in the NAIA Championships Second Round. Mendoza's women's side ended the 2022 season after being down by Top-Ranked and eventual national champion Georgia Gwinnett in the NAIA National Championships Quarterfinals following a 23-4 season, while also being an undefeated 10-0 in MSC play.

"I am very excited about the season. We worked extremely hard last year but things didn't work out for us at the national tournament," Erazo Said. "My expectations are very high, I would like to go back-to-back with the Mid-South Conference Championship as well as regular season champions. Grab another semi-finals or finals at the indoor national tournament and outdoor national tournament. The objective is to go match after match."

The schedule consists of 18 events for the men and 17 for the women, eight of which are at home at the Henry Baughman Tennis Complex.

The Men's schedule deviates for a singular contest against Milligan (Tenn.) on March 31.

Both squads open their season up on Sunday, Jan. 29 at University of Indianapolis (Ill.) with a quick turnaround for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, consisting of eight teams featuring six ranked or vote-getters, taking place on Feb. 3 through Feb. 7 hosted by Kansas Wesleyan.

The Blue Raiders later head to Georgia Gwinnett on Feb. 17, taking on the Top-Ranked and defending national champion side in the Grizzly Invitational. The Invitational also will host the matchups of St. Thomas (Fla.) on Feb 18, and Xavier (La.).

Lindsey Wilson begins conference play on March 2 where they travel to Lebanon, Tenn. taking on Cumberland (Tenn.), shortly followed by a bout with Tennessee Southern on March 7.

The first event at Henry Baughman Tennis Complex will take place on March 16 where the Blue Raiders take on Bethel (Tenn.) soon followed by visiting Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) the next day. Top-15 Union (Ky.) gives Lindsey Wilson a break from conference play, coming to Columbia on March 19.

Mid-South Conference play resumes in Georgetown, Ky. taking on the Tigers on March. 22, with the next day being the Battle of Highway 55 Tennis edition, battling with Campbellsville (Ky.) at the Henry Baughman Tennis Complex.

Other highlights of the 2022-23 season include a Top-20 matchup against Cumberlands (Ky.) on April 8, capping off the conference season. The final home event for the Blue Raiders occurs on April 14, where they take on vote-getter Marian (Ind.), giving way to the MSC Tournament and eventually the NAIA Tennis Championships in May.

This year's rosters welcomes back three athletes with five incoming freshmen on the men's side and five returners also listing three freshmen.

Men's Jan Silhavy returns after receiving NAIA All-American Second-Team honors and being tabbed All-MSC First-Team, as Tiago Almeida returns fresh off his All-MSC Second-Team.

"I am excited about this season since we have five freshmen and three upperclassmen. They are all really talented players, Firas Ben Chouikha is a doubles specialist which is what we needed to complete a really solid doubles formation. Ilyas Coichari is a great singles player which will push the team to do better. Sebastian Junqhanns, Joaquin Mersch and Lucas Marques are grinders who never give up. Therefore, the qualities these players have will help the team to stay at the top level." Erazo continued.

The women's side list a host of All-MSC talent with First-Teamer Darija Mladenovic set to return with Second-Teamers Reshma Challarapu, Anastasiia Ivanchenko, and Salome Sposetti along with Honorable Mention Parisa Rachdanone all set to take the court.

The 2023 Tennis season officially commences January 29 against University of Indianapolis. Action from UIndy Tennis Center is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. CT.

This story was posted on 2023-01-27 07:24:34
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