ASU men’s and women’s tennis begins this weekend

Chelsey Fisher

The men’s and women’s tennis teams go on the road this weekend to begin their 2013 season.

The women will travel to North Carolina A&T Friday and then have a quick turnaround with a match at ECU Saturday afternoon.

The men have a grueling schedule to open the season, beginning at No. 39 South Carolina on Saturday, following a trip to No. 42 UNC Wilmington Monday.

“I’ve always liked a really tough opening schedule,” senior Andrew McKinnon said. “It puts us in a good mindset for the rest of our season.”

McKinnon is one of only five upperclassmen on a team looking to replace its top three players from a year ago. This may lead to some uncertainty in the lineup to start the season, but The Mountaineers have the talent to make up for lack of experience.

Junior Sebastien King will slide into the No. 1 slot after accumulating 25 wins the past two seasons playing at No. 4, but beyond that much of the team’s success will ride on the younger players.

Freshman Zack Bost, a top 100 high school player, is likely to begin the season at No. 2, and several players will have a chance to produce at the bottom of the lineup.

“We just have to be whatever our lineup is,” coach Bob Lake said. “Just let the kids play and see who rises up. We will find out a lot about this team early on.”

The women maintain some consistency from by returning with three top players from last year, including Ellie Linsell, who has been the team’s No. 1 the past three seasons. However like the men’s team, the women will look to underclassmen to make an impact.

“In women’s tennis, maturity happens early, so freshmen can make a difference right away.” coach Colin Crothers said. “Clare Cox has improved greatly and should be an impact player in the top three. Mackenzie Lasure will be paired with Ellie Linsell at number one doubles and they have been playing fantastic.”

“We’ve had very good, competitive practices, so far; so I hope it carries over to the spring,” Crothers said.

Both teams are seeking to build on last season that ended in a second round exit from the Southern Conference Tournament.

Story: JORDAN DAVIS, Sports Reporter