While his Cougars moved to 5-0 in dual play with a 7-0 win at Liberty on Thursday, Coronado tennis coach Tyler Philipsen places more emphasis on individual improvement than early results.
That approach is backed by the Cougars’ youth with just two seniors competing on an overcast afternoon.
“To be winning, I think, is just a plus, because really the tennis season, there’s no reward really other than really a seed at regionals for winning all your matches,” Philipsen said. “But there’s definitely a reward at the end of the season if you’re working on and focusing on getting better.”
No Coronado player has improved over the past year like sophomore Reilly Fredell. Fredell went from playing No. 2 doubles as a freshman to taking the No. 1 singles spot this fall.
“He just came out ready to go,” Philipsen said. “At the start of the season in the team tournament, he actually knocked off our 1 singles from the last two years.”
He defended the top spot in the practices that followed.
“He’s really kinda proven to everybody that he’s ready to go,” Philipsen said.
“He’s got the strokes that it takes and the mentality it takes to win at 1 singles.”
Fredell improved to 7-2 on the season with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Liberty junior Sean Bohuslavsky. Fredell has a knack for picking out corners, according to his coach.
“I can redirect the ball pretty well,” Fredell said. “If they’re moving one way, I can hit it the other way.”
The Cougars won every match in straight sets except for No. 2 doubles. Liberty’s Dylan Stradling and Kyle Morse took the first set 7-5 before Coronado’s Noah Enoch and Jackson Shaeffer took the next two 6-3, 6-4.
The Cougars completed the shutout as freshman duo William White and Kai Kraemer beat Darryck Schmit and Igor Lukin 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) at No. 4 doubles. The final match of the day turned out to be one of the Lancers’ better showings.
“Our 4 doubles played a lot better than I expected,” Liberty coach Brandon Dale said. “They fought until the end. They almost pulled that second set off.”
Liberty dropped to 2-1 in dual play.
“I thought we would be a little more competitive, honestly,” Dale said. “We got shut out, so hopefully we can learn from this and be a better tennis team next time around.”