Tennis teams enter spring semester under Christian Hamilton



Christian Hamilton was named Interim Director of Tennis Operations after head coach Lexi Bolecky’s departure.

Mason Jones

The new year has just begun, but for the Ashland University tennis team, the athletic year is half over.

The AU men’s and women’s tennis teams are now beginning their spring season of play, with the men having dual matches and the women playing to finish strong. The Eagle men are just beginning their duel matches, currently 3-0 overall, with the women having finished last fall with an overall record of 9-10 overall, 3-6 in conference.

The Eagle women won their first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference tournament match in fall 2012, and hope to expand on that momentum moving forward as they continue with spring play.

“The men and women are eager to get into these matches, and we are excited for the groundwork that we are laying,” Interim Director of Tennis Operations Christian Hamilton said. “A lot of the focus has been on these upcoming matches.”

Hamilton, who assisted former tennis head coach Lexi Bolesky, took over her position when Boleksy resigned from her status as head tennis coach last fall. Hamilton is grateful that he was able to work with Bolesky for the past year and a half.

“She was a huge mentor to me, as it was like her passing the torch as she has helped me as well as this program moves forward in the right direction,” he said.

Hamilton hopes to improve the progress of the tennis program even more as he continues to train and guide his team toward a bigger and better future for AU tennis.

“What it really comes down to is that team effort to want to get better, so what I always tell the men and women is that everyday we go to practice, your job is to try and make the person across the net from you better,” Hamilton said. “That’s the goal that we try to instill in them, so that everyday when the players go out and do that, they get better and our mentality gets stronger.”
Senior Brianna Brdicka agrees with Hamilton’s sentiments.

“Everyone has to do their part to produce a team win,” Brdicka said. “With the mentality being to always try to help each other and pursue a victory.”

Brdicka has been to the GLIAC Championships and has been trained under former Coach Bolesky for most of her college career. Brdicka has great confidence in her team as she has witnessed the help and support of her team in action as she is on the court.

“I try to win not just for myself, but for the team,” she said. “When you’re out there playing singles it’s difficult since you’re alone and not with your duos partner, but knowing that you have support coming from your teammates and coaches really makes the match less stressful. No matter what happens, I know that I’ve got my teammates and coaches by my side all the way through.”

Three Eagles will see their final season of play this spring: seniors Priyank Soni, Brianna Brdicka and Alison Brooks.

“They have been influential to this program, and they have learned over these past four years what it takes to be an Ashland Eagle,” Hamilton said. “I believe they’ve taught that to the underclassmen, which is invaluable. They will be missed, but their guidance and leadership will continue to be present through the underclassmen.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams are young, with predominantly underclassman athletes. Hamilton is also looking to bring in more talent next fall through recruitment.

The men’s team will play their next match against Edinboro at the Westwood Racquet Club on Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. while the women’s team will begin their spring season facing off against Tiffin at the Lakewood Racquet Club (Lexington, Ohio) on Feb. 22, time to be determined.