By: John Flanigan
The Sacred Heart men’s tennis team ended their fall season this past weekend with a matchup in the Connecticut State Invite, at Yale University.
According to a Sacred Heart athletics press release, sophomore Seiji Hosokawa, and senior Cory Seltman, were the B Doubles Champions.
As explained by head coach William Boe-Wiegaard, the B tournament win for the number one ranked doubles pair, was a first in Sacred Heart’s history.
“I’m extremely happy with my performance at the Yale Invite. This year I partnered up with Seiji Hosokawa,” said Seltman. “We played a lot of high quality tennis in order to win the double B flight.”
Individually, Hosokawa finished in fifth place in B draw singles, and Seltman finished fifth in 4A singles. In his final match, Seltman defeated a player from Quinnipiac University 2-6, 6-4, 12-10.
“The final of the backdraw, I played against a really good player. That match was one of the best matches of my life,” said Seltman. “I saved two match points, and was able to take the victory on my first chance.”
Although Hosokawa lost to Harvard’s #2 in a close match, the sophomore had an impressive win over a 5-star recruit from the University of Pennsylvania in the first round.
“He is one of the most talented players in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the moment in terms of shot making ability,” said Boe-Wiegaard about Hosokawa.
“I’m very proud of the overall performance of the team. Cory and Seiji’s doubles win was amazingconsidering the skill of the teams they played against,” said senior, Francisco del Valle.
The competition at the Invite was “intense,” according to Seltman.
Teams that competed included the host school Yale University, St. John’s University, Boston College, University of Connecticut (UConn), Fairfield University, and Quinnipiac University.
For del Valle, this tournament was his most satisfying moment of the season.
“This was the last tournament of the fall season, so nothing makes me happier than knowing that the team finished off strong with some impressive results,” said del Valle.
As far as the rest of the fall season, Boe-Wiegaard was satisfied with the results. This is his first season as an NCAA coach.
“I am happy with the way we competed, but I know we will compete harder and smarter in the spring,” said Boe-Wiegaard.
For the spring season, each player goes into the season goal-oriented for individual improvements needed in the games that they will play.
“I need to improve my mental game. Experts say tennis is 70% mental skills, but I’d say it’s even more,” said del Valle. “I feel very physically fit right now. If I work on being more composed throughout the matches, and get on a good winning streak, I’m sure I’ll be playing ‘great tennis’ during the spring season.”
Hosokawa, also feels he needs to improve on his mental aspect of the game.
“I need to become strong mentally so that I am not easily frustrated on the court,” said Hosokawa.
Seltman, however, has another aspect of his game he feels the need to improve upon.
“I want to improve on my fitness going into the spring. I’m going to spend much more time focuing on strength and conditioning, so that I’m ready for tough, long, matches,” said Seltman. “I want to have the best chance at giving our team a win.”
Boe-Wiegaard expressed that the team needs to work on being more positive and excited for the opportunity to play tennis at this level.
“The goal for the spring is to improve tennis skills, win the Northeast Conference (NEC) title, and go to the NCAA tournament,” said Boe-Wiegaard.