By Daniel Johnson, Staff Writer
Published in print Apr. 15, 2015
The month of March started off as a difficult month for the Men’s tennis team.
Over a span of just one week, the Men’s team lost their first four games of the month, two of which being important Southern Conference matches against rivals Mercer and Samford.
However, throughout the month of March, the guiding hand (or racket) for UNC-Greensboro was senior Randy Phillips as the team became more steady at the end the month and the beginning of April
Though his entire season has been an impressive year, boasting a 25-7 overall record, Phillips’s month of March was the brightest point of an already brilliant season.
The month saw Phillips boast a 15-3 total record (8-1 singles, 7-2 doubles) in 18 matches.
As a result for his performance on the court, he was named the Southern Conference Player of the Month for March, as well as the Blue Cross Blue Shield Athlete of the Week for the first week of April.
Following the team’s Wednesday victory against Elon, Phillips discussed his award, his teammates, and the season.
Phillips discussed his initial reaction when learning he was named the Southern Conference Player of the Month.
“It was a great feeling” Phillips said proudly. “I have been working through, playing well, and I am very happy to receive the award.”
Phillips then talked about how he planned to continue this strong level of play for the SoCon tournament coming up.
“Just keep working hard in practice and trying the best I can in the matches” Phillips replied.
This season, Phillip’s double record stands at 17-10.
Thirteen of these double wins have come for the senior Phillips when he was paired with freshmen Connor Thompson.
Phillips talked about how the senior and freshman had to develop chemistry throughout the coarse of the season.
“At first it was tough, but then as we progressed, we started grooming together and now we are playing great” he said.
As a player, Phillips had developed his performance since arriving at UNCG.
After putting up a solid 18-11 record last year, his 25-7 record is evidence of his improvement as a player.
“I have been putting in a lot more effort on and off the tennis court, is I think I am finally seeing the results” he said when asked about the difference between last season and this year.
Following UNC-Greensboro’s four game losing streak in the first weeks of March, the team responded with winning seven of the next nine matches, thus showing the potential to earn the fourth in the Southern Conference.
The run the team is currently on has seen the team win four straight matches at home against three different Southern Conference opponents.
The Spartans are one of only two teams in the Southern Conference to hold a record above the .500 marks at 11-8.
The only other team, East Tennessee State University, holds the top spot in the standings.
With the regular season over, and the SoCon tournament starting up in two weeks, I asked about his mindset as well as the team’s as the regular season is over.
“After this match today, it gives me a lot of confidence that we can fight hard” Phillips replied on Wednesday afternoon.
“I think we can do well, really well.”
The standings of the SoCon at this moment stand with ESTU at the top of the Conference.
The Spartans are battling Wofford for the number four seed in the conference.
Both have a 3-3 record against SoCon opponents.
However, with the Spartans win against the Terriers, they own the tiebreaker.
Samford, Chattanooga, and the Citadel round out the bottom.
The Southern Conference tournament starts April 24th, and is being hosted by Furman in Greenville, South Carolina.
Categories: daniel johnson, Sports
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