Soggy courts and an unusually short pre-season practice session are not expected to deter the freshman tennis team today in its first match of the spring when it meets Milton Academy at 3:30 p.m. a Soldiers Field. Freshman coach Corey Wynn hopes that this year's squad can do as well as last year's freshman team which opened the season with a 9 to 0 trouncing of Milton and then remained undefeated in nine matches for the rest of the year.
Wynn is very optimistic about the '55 squad which he compares favorably with its predecessor. Though the current group may not have the same depth of players as the '54 team, he feels that it is still "quite promising." He wouldn't discuss, however, the chances for his second straight undefeated season.
The freshmen actually have had few chances so far to show how good they are in match play. The fall practice session was short and this spring the team had to stay indoors in the I.A.B. before vacation. Since then, the players have not had a chance to use the better outdoor clay courts until only a week ago--three weeks later than last year. Even now, the "better" courts have not yet been rolled into their top playing condition.
But despite these disadvantages, the players have gradually started to get their strokes working smoothly again and are now becoming accustomed to the courts. The line-up for the first six singles, positions has already been determined by squad test matches with not much chance for any change during the rest of the spring. The doubles combinations, on the other hand, are not yet certain, but Wynn is not worried about how these will shape up.
The number one player on the team, Alex Haegler, seems almost certain to stay in that position all spring. Wynn even feels that Haegler would stand a good chance to be one of the first six varsity players. The tall Brazilian, who also starred on the freshman soccer team, possesses a fast serve and hard overhead smash to go with his considerable tournament experience.
Geoff Ball and Ed. Koerner have been sparring since last fall for the second spot on the team. Both are smooth players with good competitive spirit. Ball is playing number two today since Koerner has been forced to sit out the first match because of illness.
The third position against Milton belongs to Bill Wister, a nationally rated junior player. Mike Levinson, a short, steady volleyer will play fourth, while Bob Crouch. Ball's doubles partner in California, will be the number five man. Dan Mayers, a 6'7" basketball player, is the last man on the first six.
In doubles, Wynn plans to stick with the Ball-Crouch duo for the second combination. He experimented with a team of Haegler and Wister last fall for the first spot, but may split these two and put them with either Levinson, Mayers or possibly Dave Berndt, the first alternate.
Guy Paschal and Eliot Vessell will also play an informal 'B' team away match today against Middlesex.