After a rough start to the season, the Red Raider tennis team dominated Bethany Lutheran on Saturday. The win came on the road, which makes it even sweeter than just defeating any NCAA Division III competitor.
“There were many supporters there,” head coach Jeff Guthmiller said. “Not near as many [as] in a basketball or football atmosphere, but it was obvious who they were cheering for. Just knowing that support there wasn’t for us was enough adversity alone to make the win significant.”
The win consisted of all Red Raider tennis players leaving with a win and leaving a sad ending for any local supporters.
The performance added onto NW’s all-time record against Bethany Lutheran, now at 2-0. NW’s loss to Bethel University earlier Saturday morning moves the all-time record to 0-3 in a matchup.
“In the preseason I like to play quality opponents,” Guthmiller said. “This way the team is able to dive right into the season mentally, preparing for conference matchups which lay ahead.”
The Red Raider tennis players have proved this strategic move is definitely effective with their performance against Bethany Lutheran. In choosing these matches, Guthmiller also must take into consideration weather conditions and who has the right facilities to make sure competition is available.
“This is a group of really hard workers,” Guthmiller said. “Based upon how they responded after being defeated by Bethel University—a loss which the score is one-sided to the actual performances which were much closer. The win was great with our team being inexperienced from our number three and down the roster.”
The match against Buena Vista on Wednesday, Feb. 24, will determine how the confidence spurred from this win will help the team during their two weeks off and how it may have influence in their preparation for future matches.