Tennis ready for season

Tyler McGinty

The men’s tennis team at Bakersfield College has a familiar face leading it this season: Rob Slaybaugh the new head coach.

After Regina Csibi-Krueger left to coach tennis at Cal. State Bakersfield, Slaybaugh came back after a three-year break from coaching tennis at BC.

The team still has until Feb. 3 to prepare for their first official match, and they’re still playing practice matches against each other and training to see which order they’ll play in for the singles matches.

Only four sophomores came back including the top two players from last year, Nick Jacobs and James Griffin, which makes over half of the team, new players.

One of these new players is Tim Donaldson, who placed third in the valley last year as part of a doubles team.

Along with returning sophomore James Griffin, who made it to state last year with his doubles partner, BC has two experienced doubles players on the team this season.

Even though the team is mostly freshmen, Slaybaugh is optimistic about this season saying, “This year’s team looks stronger than last year’s.”

Gene Lundquist, the coach for the BC women’s team, is “enthusiastic and cautiously optimistic” about the 2011 season.

The women’s team has five returning sophomores and, like the men’s team, they are hard at work determining the singles order before their first game.

One of the new freshmen is Denisa Hronadkova, an exchange student from Slovakia who just graduated from Frontier High School.

Lundquist said the team has plenty of strong players, and they’d have to be to live up to last season’s team.

Although they only placed fourth in the conference, the team was nominated for a Pepsi Scholarship Trophy, and the team had an average GPA of 3.29. “We’re real proud of that,” says Lundquist. “In addition to being athletes, they’re good students.”

The men’s team’s first official match will be at BC on Feb. 3 against Fresno City College, and the women’s teams first official match will be Feb. 24 at Ventura College.