Eagles hope for successful season

NEW ULM – Local tennis fans are probably frustrated right now when they drive or walk by the New Ulm High School tennis courts that are currently covered in some snow.

Head coach Peter Engeldinger remains unfazed about the snow, although he does view it as a challenge to the upcoming 2014 boys high school tennis season.

“It’s tough,” Engeldinger said. “In tennis, you need court time (because) it’s all about placement. We need to get out on the court to make it happen.”

This year’s team features two seniors, Alex King and Taylor Tambornino. Juniors Calvin Collum, Jr. and Josh Koelpin will be the team’s captains.

“We are going to be a young team,” Engeldinger said. “The question is who’s going to step up?”

One of his goals for this season is for him to be a better coach. He said that he attended a coaching seminar, and he is hoping to implement some of the things that he learned there. He also expects the team to earn more victories and be a better, improved team.

He said since this is his second year as coach at New Ulm, he has a better idea of things than he did last year. He wants to develop players that are coming along.

Engeldinger said one of his future goals is to find a way to raise money to acquire new equipment for the program. He would also like to see a youth program in place to help develop future tennis players.

Despite finishing 4-12 last year, Engeldinger was pleased with how the team played in the conference tournament. He called that a “high point” for the year.

He sees St. James, Waseca and St. Peter as being the top tier tennis programs in the area.

King has been playing tennis for the past 13 or 14 years. It began for him as a family activity and it grew from there. He is the team’s No. 1 singles player and he was 6-12 last year.

King’s main goal is to be a good leader and he wants to make sure that his teammates are playing as a team and not just as individuals. He wants to improve upon the team’s overall record, play better himself and he hopes to be more consistent in his game.

His highlight occurred last season when he came from behind to defeat his cousin in three sets. His cousin was a senior from St. James and he was 8-0 before losing the match to King.

Alex plans to join the Army after graduation. He will go to Fort Benning, Ga., for his basic training and then he will see what’s available for him to do from there. He said he plans to take things “one step at a time.”

Taylor Tambornino is the other senior on this year’s squad.

He was part of the No. 2 doubles team last season that had a record of 14-4. He wants have a better and more positive season.

“I want to play as best that I can and see what comes of it,” he said.

Tambornino said his favorite meet took place last season against Worthington. The match went three sets and then to a tie-breaker. Tyler was able to win both the tie breaker and that led to New Ulm winning the meet.

“That was the longest match of my life,” he said.

Tambornino plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Morris for Bio Chemistry. After medical school, he would like to a heart-lung surgeon.

New Ulm will play its first meet on April 3 at Redwood Valley. The Eagles’ first home meet will be on April 7 against New Prague.

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