Joseph Edgecomb / Collegian File Photo
For many, playing tennis in Honolulu sounds like a heavenly getaway from lifeâ€™s challenges. But for the Fresno State Menâ€™s Tennis team, itâ€™s the culminating point of their season.
The team only plays three more matches before the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Hawaii, and it is working hard to end the season on a good note.
â€œThe players are playing well, weâ€™re 14-7 right now. As a whole weâ€™ve had a good season. We play three in Boise, and then itâ€™s on to Hawaii,â€ head coach Jay Udwadia said. â€œItâ€™s a quick turnaround, and weâ€™ve got to clean up a little bit; stay loose.â€
The team currently ranks No. 46 nationally and swept No. 52 Pacific 7-0 in its latest match. Before that the team beat two nationally ranked individual opponents en route to an eventual loss to No. 8 Stanford.
Other season highlights include winning their last six home matches in a row and a win over No. 42 San Diego State in February.
The Bulldogs next face No. 19 Boise State and No. 66 Nevada, the only other ranked teams in the WAC, in a three-match stretch on April 17 and 18. The WAC Tournament starts April 23.
Udwadia made his teamâ€™s goals clear.
â€œThatâ€™s always the goal for us, to win the WAC. Itâ€™s very competitive,â€ Udwadia said. â€œWe always want to win the conference and see how far we can go in the NCAA Tournament.â€
The team boasts only one senior, Rudy Siwy, of the Czech Republic. Siwy ranks No. 59 nationally among individuals and is the team captain. He took to the home court for the final time in the match against Pacific.
â€œRudyâ€™s been a great player for us. Heâ€™s moved up the ladder through the years and heâ€™s highly ranked,â€ Udwadia said. â€œIâ€™m glad to see him achieve so such here not only tennis wise but academically.â€
Siwyâ€™s leadership will play an important role if the team is going to beat Boise State and Nevada and win the WAC Tournament on the island. Beyond that, the â€™Dogs hope for a big run and the NCAA Tournament and look forward to next year.
While Siwy is undoubtedly one of the teamâ€™s best players, Udwadia is confident the team will play well again next season.
â€œItâ€™s nice, weâ€™re only losing one player,â€ Udwadia said. â€œRegardless of what happens, weâ€™re going to be strong for next year.â€