April 30, 2012
Northwest ready for ACU rematch in NCAA First Round
By David Boyce
Northwest Missouri State legendary men’s tennis coach Mark Rosewell believes in his team so much that he can take a few hours off to enjoy other entertainment.
Rosewell has complete confidence in his Bearcats as they prepare for NCAA Division II Preliminary Round Tuesday at Abilene Christian. The winner advances to the Round of 16 May 16-19 in Louisville, Ky.
Northwest, ranked No. 26, will take a 19-4 to the postseason match against No. 16 Abilene Christian, which is 19-8.
It’s a rematch from a March 13 meeting when the Bearcats lost 7-2 to Abilene Christian at the Plaza Tennis Center.
“We didn’t feel we played that well,” Rosewell said Thursday evening. “We played them at the Plaza. We are really happy to get another chance to play them even though it is down there.”
Rosewell made these comments just before going to the Glen Campbell concert at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City.
Last Monday, Rosewell was again in Kansas City, taking in a Royals game against Toronto at Kauffman Stadium.
But when the weekend hit, tennis was the only thing on Rosewell’s mind. The team left Saturday afternoon and made a stop at Johnson County Community College for a scrimmage.
Rosewell has the formula to beat Abilene Christian.
“We have to get two out of three in the doubles and then split the singles,” Rosewell said. “We will have to play well. They are a good team.”
The Bearcats, which had to replace five of their top six singles players from last year, have steadily improved since their first match with Abilene Christian.
“Now that we have played more matches we feel more confident,” said freshman Jason Harris.
Harris is one of the newcomers who have helped the Bearcats. He is 15-6 overall and 9-0 at the No. 6 singles spot.
“He has done pretty well for a freshman in his first year,” Rosewell said.
Indeed. Harris earned MIAA men’s tennis player of the week on April 2. Harris went 4-0 in the No. 5 singles spot to garner the recognition.
Harris, who is from Johannesburg, South Africa, has adapted well to going to college and playing tennis in a different country.
“It is enjoyable and fun. I’ve seen different things. I’m coping pretty well with grades and things,” he said.
“It has been good. The courts are good. The players are good. I have had good practices. I have no complaints.”
Harris is now looking forward to his next new adventure.
“It should be a lot of fun,” he said.
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