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Men’s tennis wins PAC, undefeated

It all had come down to this: Eastern versus Alvernia. The showdown for the PAC conference title was underway, and only one team was going home champions. The next three hours of tennis would determine the future location of the 2005 Men’s Tennis PAC Championship plaque.

Fast forward one week to another victory, the annual Men’s Tennis PAC Tournament. Only one team stood undefeated in PAC play. Unquestionably dominating the competition and losing only 9 of the 49 individual PAC matches, one team stood alone as the 2005 champions: Eastern University.

So what was the secret to our phenomenal success? I am tentative to give credit to our off and on-season training, because practices worth noting included three on three basketball, “dynamic warm-ups” (twenty minute running drills) and interactive yoga sessions.

I am also skeptical our undefeated season was the product of a detailed team philosophy. We drew our inspiration from unorthodox sources like Disney’s The Lion King, the Rocky film series and the 1995 classic movie, The Break, starring Vincent Van Patten.

I am more than confident, however, when I say that the group of gentlemen I had the privilege of playing with poured their hearts out in each shot, point, game, set and match. From our humble 1-3 spring break record in Hilton Head, SC, to our regular season finish at 12-5 (7-0 in the PAC), a commitment to team success and individual goals drove us to unprecedented victory.

Coach James Joseph, though admittedly new to coaching collegiate tennis, brought undeniable fervor and passion to this year’s program. Challenging us to aim high and take no prisoners, Joseph continually held us accountable to the goals we set at the beginning of the season.

Evidently, aiming high led to several bulls eye hits that defined 2005. Hits like senior John Moyer’s dominating defeat of Arcadia first-year Tim Fitzgerald in straight sets of the PAC number one singles final defined the year. Hits like sophomores Michael Guernsey and Nate Seifert’s second straight undefeated season at number two doubles defined the year. Hits like sophomore Eric Sauder and senior Nate Stutzman’s number three doubles team’s addition to the all-conference team defined the year.

Hits like first-year Eric Walter’s undefeated PAC record defined the year. Hits like coach Joseph’s reception of coach of the year honors defined the year.

The work committed, practice done and goals set led to several individual and team honors.

However, I will walk away from the 2005 season filled with lessons and memories far more valuable than any medal or plaque. I am forever thankful that I could be a part of this year’s championship team. Go Eagles!

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