Men’s tennis off to rocky start


Julie Milota

Emilson Castro and André Mendes.

Nyah Nowakowski and Nathan Orlandi

The Men’s Tennis team at Illinois Valley Community College has only played in four games with a record of one win and three losses. The last game of the season is approaching on either April 29 or 30, weather depending.

The team has only had a total of seven practices, only one of which took place outside due to the inclement weather the area has experienced this spring.

“For it being the first time playing tennis, I think as a player, I am playing well,” says sophomore, Emilson Castro. “Our coach knows it is my first time playing. She is very patient with me and that has been the key to learning how to play.”

“It is also my first time ever playing tennis,” says freshman André Mendes. “We are improving fast. Our coach has helped us a lot and goes over everything in practice multiple times.”

The team lost three of its players to different reasons during the transition from the fall season to the spring season. Coach Julie Milota recruited players to fill those spots with very little notice.

“I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys,” stated Coach Milota. “They have been great all the way through and no matter what happens I really think some great relationships have been built between the guys.”

This will be the last semester that IVCC competes at the D3 level as they will be moving up to D1. This decision was made by the school board based on what’s best for student athletes and the school overall in terms of being able to offer financial aid to student athletes.

The tennis team got a glimpse of what the D1 competition may look like during the 2020-2021 year when all schools competed at the D1 level in the nationals due to COVID-19 and lack of competition.

Only one of the current players will be returning for the 2022-2023 year.