Sports / The Prairie Fire / April 24, 2008

The Fire is ready to turn up the heat for the MWC Tourney

Men’s tennis (7-11, 1-3) will try to go out on top at the Midwest Conference Tournament in Wisconsin this weekend.

“We can finish as high as sixth in the conference,” said head coach Chad Eisele. “It just depends on how good we play on Saturday and Sunday.”

“We have a chance to get our #1 singles player, Jared Katchen, to the championship,” said Eisele. Katchen, a sophomore native of Galesburg, has been on a tear this year with an impressive 13-5 record. Out of his four conference matches, he has only one defeat.

Another bright spot this year was Nick Craig (#5). Craig finished the season with a 12-6 record, losing his last three matches. He began the year winning 11 matches in a row.

Seniors Lance Hoffman (#2), Josh Moten (#3), Sam Gagnard (#4), and Matthew Stockov (#6) will look to end their respective careers on a positive note. All have a chance to surprise the competition and walk away with a win.

Hoffman (4-13) lost nine straight to end the regular season. Moten (7-10) dropped his last three ending the year. Gagnard (5-12) lost his last three matches ending 2008. Stockov (2-14) had a rough year with three straight defeats to end the season.

“I am excited for conference. It is always something that kids look forward to,” said Eisele. The conference tournament will be held at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. With the regular season behind them, the Fire are ready to start fresh.

LaVar Merrell

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