Not every 2021-22 season can include the big successes. Some will be full of little ones — good communication, supporting teammates and laying groundwork.
Joe Van Dyk, one of Palmer tennis’ two seniors this fall, sees all of that happening, at least, on a team loaded with underclassmen.
“We're really hoping to set these guys up for the future,” he said. “We want to finish this season off really strong. We would like to maybe even win league again like we did last year.
“I would like to see this team keep crushing it in the years that I’m gone.”
A day after scrimmaging against Coronado, Pine Creek swept Palmer on Tuesday on every court except at No. 3 singles and Van Dyk’s No. 1 doubles. It was tough going, but the Terrors saw flashes of promise.
“I love their mentality,” assistant coach Jose Reveteriano said. “They’re a young team, but they’re growing and they’re growing quickly.”
Jackson Weber is at No. 1 singles, the first time in Todd Nelson’s 11-year stretch as coach at Palmer that he’s had a freshman there. Weber is the son of Colorado College men’s tennis coach Anthony Weber, however, and is coming in with more experience than most.
“We give him a lot of different looks and he gives us a ton of useful pointers,” Van Dyk said.
“Every now and then you face a team that has a really good young player,” Nelson added. “Now that’s us.”
There’s another newcomer in the group. Palmer girls' soccer coach Reveteriano teamed up with Nelson and has helped players focus on their “technical aspects,” junior Takaya Montez de Oca said.
The Terrors started last season with a first-place finish in the Spartan Invitational and rolled into September, going undefeated in league play. Nelson said eight of the varsity players that aided in that accomplishment graduated.
Palmer is back in action Aug. 24 at Rampart.
“We'll just keep sticking with it,” No. 2 singles Montez de Oca, who joined as sophomore looking for a second sport, said. “Really have a focus on having fun.”