Men’s tennis is back in swing: Season begins 4-2 record

Annabelle Lewis
Contributing Writer

Senior Joe Castleman, sophomore Caleb Duttlinger and senior Ben Ortinau practice drills
at Webster Groves Tennis Center on March 12. Photo by Annabelle Lewis

Tennis season began Feb. 25-March 1, with tryouts lasting the whole week with Coach Terry Verstrate.

There were no cuts from the team. Challenge matches were played to find spot numbers on the team. The team lost its first game 7-2 on March 26, against Rockwood Summit at their courts.

Since then the team has won four of its six matches.

Coach Terry Verstrate celebrates his 22nd year coaching at Webster. He coached women for the first three years of his career and switched to only men shortly after and has been with only men for 18 years.

Last season was his first season coaching the women again, and now he is both the men’s and women’s coach.

Coach Verstrate never played for a professional team or even his college, but did play some in high school. He really found his love for tennis by playing recreational. Verstrate stills plays tennis with his friends when he isn’t busy coaching or teaching geography, military history or government.

“He’s very good at taking people in a short amount of time and making them tennis match ready or more ready for the season,” senior Joe Castleman said about Verstrate.

Castleman has obtained the number one spot on the team through hardwork and dedication.  Even though there are no captains, he is there to take charge on and off the court as well as helping with drills and being a leader for the younger players.

“I try to keep up a good morale because we want to be cheering on our teammates, and even though it’s an individual sport, we still play as a team,” Castleman said.

His advice to the freshman and any new players is to “Be on time and enjoy it because it is a fun sport. Just try your best and stick with it for your whole life.”


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Categories: Sports

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