The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Tennis players sets sights on next season

As the rest of EC spends the hot spring day either hanging out at the beach or studying at the library, the men’s tennis team spends Mondays and Wednesdays practicing in the afternoon.

It didn’t matter that the season was already over.

“I gave them the week off so they could get a rest from tennis for a while,” Van Kanegan said, “but they wanted to come back anyway because they just love to play.”

The Warriors’ season officially came to an end last week when they were eliminated early in the Ojai Tournament, but the early exit did not ruin the experience they got in the annual event.

Lew and his doubles partner Sean Packwood lost their first match, 6-4, 6-3; Packwood lost his single match, 6-1, 6-1; and Jay Sakolsatayatorn lost in singles, 6-3, 6-1; while Khoi Phan, Tyler Watanabe, Jason Olson and Franz Hiebert did not attend the Ojai Tournament.

“The doubles team played pretty well even though it was the first time they played together,” Van Kanegan said. “Their original partners did not come with us to Ojai.”

This was the third straight season the team finished low in the conference standings, but Van Kanegan thinks the season turned out better then he or his players would have thought when the season first began.

“This team came a long way from our first game,” Van Kanegan said. “I feel that this is the most improved team I ever had in my ten years coaching tennis at this school.”

Van Kanegan is optimistic that next year’s team will improve its 3-8 (3-5) record. With most of the team probably coming back for a second year, some of the players have already begun improving their flaws by working hard in practice.

Packwood is expected to return to the team next year along with Phan, Sakolsatayatorn and Watanabe. Watanabe has been nicknamed “future” because he was the first player to announce a return for next year.

“Jay and Sean both have a lot of talent and with hard enough work, can take their games to another level,” Van Kanegan said. “‘Future’ has raw talent, which means his game has nowhere to go but up.”

Van Kanegan said he believes the team has lacked a superstar player for the past few years, but has enough depth to give teams some problems in their matches.

“We could be one great player away from having a really good team,” Van Kanegan said. “But if we don’t have one, it’s fine because it’s comforting to know that some of our players are coming back.”

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