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Old Gold & Black

Men’s tennis team sets big goals for spring season

Rob+Galloway+is+one+of+two+seniors+on+the+tennis+team+along+with+Walker+Heffron.
Rob Galloway is one of two seniors on the tennis team along with Walker Heffron.

TEAM HAS COMPETED IN FIVE FALL TOURNAMENTS AND RETURNS MOST OF ITS LINEUP—

Last year, Wofford’s men’s tennis team made it to the second round of the Southern Conference tournament. After a resounding 4 – 0 victory over the Citadel in the first round, the Terriers lost four to three to Furman University, who went on to be the runner up in the tournament overall. Senior Walker Heffron says the team realized how close they came to a deep run in the tournament last year.

“That was obviously disappointing,” Heffron says, “but we knew then that we weren’t graduating anyone so we knew we would have a shot again.”

Last year’s Southern Conference champion Elon University has left the conference. Heffron says that despite their success last year, the team isn’t taking any wins for granted.

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“We know we can play with those good teams.” Heffron says. “We know that it’s not just going to happen; we are going to have to go take it.”

Coach Rod Ray says this year’s team looks especially strong to him.

“This team wants to be successful. They want to do the things that are necessary to win. They are not afraid of hard work or competition and they have proven that,” says Ray.

The team is returning six of their top seven players from last year and has added two freshmen, Parks Schoen and Jack Thomas. On top of that the team is getting production from sophomore Andrew Graham who missed all of last season with a wrist injury. Ray says that Graham’s strong return has been a help to the team.

“He is doing great and has shown great perseverance,” Ray says. “He is in the mix for playing time.”

Heffron agrees that Graham has been a boost to team.

“He brings a great attitude because he is just happy to be playing again,” Heffron says, “and his game is improving daily.”

The team has two seniors, Heffron and Rob Galloway, who have both been contributors since their freshmen year.

“Those two have meant a lot to our program,” Ray says. “They mean a lot to me and they will have left a mark on this campus personally and as athletes.”

Heffron says that he has noticed a change in the program over his four years.

“The mentality of the whole team has really changed a lot,” Heffron says. “We really do believe we can win a Southern Conference championship.”

Ray says that the defining feature of this year’s team is its depth.

“Our lineup is nowhere near being set,” Ray says, “and that’s a good thing, in that we have a lot of good players. Our success will be determined by our unselfishness.”

So far the team has played in tournaments at Wake Forest, Gardner Webb, at the ITA Carolina Regional Tournament and at the South Carolina Men’s Collegiate Invitational in Belton SC.

Ray says the competition at these tournaments has been similar to the level of talent in the SoCon.

“We did play some good competition, but I don’t know if it was any better than what we will face in the regular season.”

Heffron says the team is already focused on the season to come and will be ready to succeed in February.

Heffron says Ray is very consistent with his message.

“Coach always says it’s all about the process. We do a lot more work with drilling and things like that in the fall.”

The process will continue in January when the Terriers start their regular season.

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