Team uses spring break to focus, recover health (Men’s Tennis)

Franklin Kao

Spring Break is a time for relaxing and maybe doing something enjoyable without thinking about school.

Northwestern’s players will be doing just that as they head to Houston for a team trip to soak up the nice weather and refine their passion for hitting fuzzy green balls.

Freshman Pete Rispoli said he never really has a break. He said he will be back out there tomorrow and hit every day during break. Rispoli added that while he will continue to work hard with the rest of the team in Texas, there will be other benefits to the hiatus.

“(There will be) some team bonding,” Rispoli said. “We’re going to be staying at (sophomore captain Alex) Sanborn’s house, so it’ll be a great team atmosphere.”

Sanborn said he hopes the team can stay focused over break and recover its health to get ready for the rest of the dual season.

“A lot of people are just getting a little worn down, (so it will) just help our bodies recover a little bit,” Sanborn said. “It depends on how you approach the break. I’m probably just going to keep working hard just to maintain the momentum that I have right now.”

It will be important to maintain momentum because of the lethargy that can come from a break.

Coach Arvid Swan said it is his job as a coach to keep the energy up in the Lone Star State. He added that the break is an opportunity for everybody to continue improving their skill sets.

But the Wildcats (6-8, 0-2 Big Ten) still have one more game before their trip. They face Wisconsin (5-5, 0-0) on Saturday in Madison, Wis., in NU’s third Big Ten dual. Both teams will be looking for their first conference victory.

Last year’s dual against Wisconsin was a close one. After being tied at three, a victory at No. 1 singles was the decisive point in the dual. The victory from then-senior Willy Lock gave NU its first conference victory.

As far as the remainder of the Big Ten season goes, Sanborn said matches against the middle-of-the-pack teams – Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota – are the most important ones the team will focus on winning. The sophomore added that those matches will be the most fun and have the most energy.

Swan said the team will continue to prepare for every match exactly the same way, no matter who its opponent is.

“We’re trying to get better every day, ” Swan said. “There’s no shortcuts in tennis (or) in athletics period. We’re going to keep putting ourselves in the position to win big matches, and it’ll come.”

Swan said the team used to lose in straight sets, but they are beginning to split sets and play more closely. He added that his goal is to put each player in a position to win his match.

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