Eagles and Flames gear up for Valentine's Day contest

VIDEO: Jim Frederick Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Lee University is next on the list for the Carson-Newman's men's tennis team on Thursday as they prepare for three road trips in the next four days. 

After falling to the Citadel in their first match of the season, the Eagles redeemed themselves with a 7-0 win over Virginia-Wise last Sunday at the Knoxville Racquet Club. Out of six singles and three doubles matches the Eagles only dropped four games against the Cavaliers and concluded the day in dominating fashion. 

Coach Jim Frederick spoke about how it can be difficult to play a team not very skilled without lowering your own level of play. 

"The thing I was most pleased with at Virginia-Wise is that we played our own game and didn't let their level pull us down."  

Freshman Rintaro Oka (Narita, Japan) has begun his freshman campaign on a solid note being the only Eagle to earn a win against the Citadel and improved his record to 2-0 against Virginia-Wise. 

"He has some skills that our other players don't have," Frederick said of Oka. "He's magic with the ball, he can adapt his game to who he's playing." 

Rolling with the momentum of the win against the Cavaliers, the Eagles turn their attention now to Lee University. C-N hasn't won a match against the Flames since 2014, but after consulting with former coach Jean Love, Frederick determined that it's not because of lack of talent. 

"If we have the effort level that I know we can produce, and the attitude that I know we have, I think the result will take care of itself."

The Flames are returning three players from last year including Bruno Medeiros, Jake Okines and Daniel Prata. Two freshmen and two junior transfers have joined their squad for the 2019 season. 

"The expectation for me is to simply control what we can control," Frederick said of the upcoming contest. "If we control our effort and our attitude, we'll be fine."

The Eagles will set out to make the drive early in the morning on Thursday and begin play at 2 p.m. that afternoon. For results and more information, check back on cneagles.com.

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