JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman men's tennis team gears up for three home matches in three days against Tennessee Wesleyan, Spartanburg Methodist, and North Georgia before jumping into conference play on March 9.
The Eagles are excited to play at Mossy Creek as their matches against the Citadel and Virginia-Wise that were supposed to be at home was moved to the Knoxville Racquet Club due to rain.
"We're excited to play at home," Coach Jim Frederick said. "A lot of parents will be coming, and hopefully the weather will cooperate."
First in line to take on the Eagles in the three-day stretch is NAIA competition, Tennessee Wesleyan, on Thursday.
"The guys are a very good NAIA team," Coach Frederick said of the Bulldogs. "They beat Christian Brothers 4-3 and we lost to Christian Brothers. The one thing I've tried to do this year is play the best schedule I can, and we've done that. I have to think that'll get us ready as much for the conference season as anything would."
The No. 13 ranked Bulldogs are 3-1 on the season so far and have produced members of the All-American teams the last two years.
Moving into Friday, the Eagles will take on Spartanburg Methodist College. The Junior College team from Spartanburg, S.C. is currently 0-1 in the 2019 season. There is only one sophomore on the squad and all others are freshmen on and locals from South Carolina.
"Other than their record, I really don't know how good they are," Frederick said. "The mindset will stay the same. You can't play your best focused on what the result will be at the end of the match so we'll just control what we can control and go from there."
The last match of the home stretch will be a tough one for the Eagles against North Georgia on Saturday. The Nighthawks are 5-1 overall only having lost to Saint Leo University who is ranked No. 7. Unlike their women's squad, the men's team is not ranked nationally as a whole, but sophomore Ryan Gaskin is the No. 10 singles player in the Southeast Region. Additionally, seniors Jess Jones and Niklas Zielen are the No. 8 doubles duo in the region.
"Even though our record isn't very good we are making progress," Frederick said of the Eagles. "I knew it would be slow and steady, and that's what it's been. This weekend will be no different."
Next week is spring break and the Eagles will get ready to face conference competition the following Wednesday.
Thursday's match against Tennessee Wesleyan and Friday's match against Spartanburg Methodist will both begin at 1 p.m. The match Saturday against the North Georgia Nighthawks will begin at 2 p.m.
For more information, location changes, results, and updates keep a close eye on cneagles.com.
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