Tennis struggles against Fort Hays, stays positive

Sports Tennis

The Missouri Western Griffons traveled to Bolivar, Missouri, the weekend of March 5 to take on Southwest Baptist University and dominated the field as they swept the first meeting with the Bearcats.

After losing all four games against Fort Hays the weekend before, the Griffons were looking to turn things around and improve their record. After getting the right mindset going into the games, everything else just clicked.

“We went down there with the goal to beat them four times and sweep, anything less would have been unacceptable,” said senior outfielder Trevor Hannum.

“The way we approached the weekend was what we did best.”

The games Friday ended positively for the Griffons, winning 4-2 and 8-0. The good start helped raise the team’s confidence and end the meeting with the Bearcats with a 4 game sweep.

“The wins helped our confidence a lot because you never want to start out conference 0-4 and it gives us a lot of momentum leading into playing the rest of our conference series at home,” said senior pitcher Corey White.

The Griffons just simply outplayed Southern Baptist the whole weekend, having stellar pitching performances by Andrew Hebrard, John Cochran and Chris Sundvold. Also, producing their first errorless game as a team didn’t hurt much either.

“That was big for us as a team, the wins this week helped us get closer to finding our identity,” Hannum said.

The winning streak against Southwest Baptist continued on Saturday as the Griffons pulled out two wins 9-3 and 6-2.

Both teams got close to equal amount of hits all four games, with Western garnishing up 38 and SBU making contact 32 times. Yet Western was able to take advantage of their hits and contribute more runs than the Bolivar Bearcats.

“Our defense played a lot better than we did against Fort Hayes,” White said.

The team expects to take the momentum of the sweep and turn it into positive play for the remainder of the season. After the successful weekend, Griffon baseball improves their record to 6-4 overall and 4-4 in conference play, while Southern Baptist drops to 2-13 overall and 1-7 in the conference.

The Griffons finally play ball in St. Joseph territory on Mar. 13 against Missouri Southern State University.

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