By: Jonathan Kostoff – Staff Writer
Love. Deuce. Set. Match.
These are a few terms that many are unfamiliar with, but once you see the University of Dayton men’s and women’s tennis teams in action, you’ll learn quickly.
Both teams are off to a solid start in the early portion of the nonconference schedule, coming off a victory over Wright State University 4-3. Led by coach Ryan Meyer, each is sitting at the .500 mark with the men’s team overall record at 3-3 and the women’s team at 2-2.
After the Wright State matches, coach Meyer thought that both squads had a good day.
“I am extremely proud of both teams,” Meyer said. “They showed a ton of heart and got the job done.”
Coach Meyer, in his third season as the head coach of both programs, has brought plenty of experience to the university. He was a four-year player at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. He has been in coaching roles for seven years with stops at Thomas More College, University of Cincinnati and Franklin College.
Currently leading the way for the men’s team is first year Carsten Fisher, who was named Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week after his dominating performance against Wright State. Fisher won both his singles and doubles matches. Fisher was teamed with first year Zach Berry for the doubles match and helped lead the team to overall victory.
Fisher and Berry have already won a combined 24 sets, dropping only seven in the process. Fisher is a pre-physical therapy major from Hilton Head, South Carolina. Berry is a hometown face who attended Springboro High School. He is a chemical engineering major.
Berry was the reigning Rookie of the Week for the week prior when the team won their match versus Eastern Kentucky, but dropped the following match to Lipscomb University. Berry went 3-1 in matches during that stretch.
The women’s team has been paced by the rock solid play of their three-pronged attack that includes first singles player and first year Marlys Bridgham, third singles player Carly Peck and fifth singles player Mandy Marchant. All three have won their last two singles matches and Bridgham has won all four of her singles matches this season.
Peck is a junior with plenty of experience in the program. She was tied for the most wins last season with seven wins.
Marchant was a three star recruit coming out of Kenston High School in the Cleveland area last year. Now in her second year, she also tied for the most wins last year. Marchant credited the chemistry of the team as one of the main reasons she chose to play here.
Both teams long for strength in the upcoming week when they take on Northern Kentucky on the road. The team normally plays their home matches on Graul Tennis Complex located on L Street here on campus, but with the lingering cold weather, they have moved their matches to Five Seasons Sports Club.
Both teams begin conference play against St Joseph’s University March 6.