Mustangs Hope National Result Motivates Strong 2019 Season
Western Mustangs Men's TennisGreg Bowman
The Western Mustangs men’s tennis team had the opportunity to play in the same vicinity of the greatest players in the world this past weekend in Montreal. The Canada University men’s Tennis Championship took place alongside the men’s Rogers Cup draw, to determine the top tennis team in the U Sports.
The Western Mustangs made it to the gold medal game, but had to settle for silver, falling to the Montreal Carabins.
“The only negative thing is that our season ends in November and then we’re doing this in August. So, we were missing a couple of players who I think could have made a huge difference,” said Anthony Glavanic, head coach of the Mustangs men’s team. “But, no excuses. You brought the cards that you have and we thought we had a chance to win.”
The Mustangs faced off against AUS Champion Memorial University, who travelled in from Newfoundland. Western handled their first-round matchup easily 5-0.
Against Montreal, the two teams split their top two matchups, but the Mustangs dropped their doubles match, which proved to be the difference.
Despite the loss, coach Glavanic was impressed with some individual performances: “Mark Jensen...in the finals anyways, was the most dominant. He had a really tough draw,” said the Mustangs coach on his #2 player, who won his match in straight sets in gold medal game. “It will bode well for next year because Mark is back.”
It is strange for the National Championship of a sport to be played nine months after its season is over. What it does is provides an opportunity for the team to meet up just a few weeks before the next season starts.
“I think the guys were left with a bad taste in their mouths - they wanted to win,” explained Glavanic. “When we lost, we looked over to [Montreal’s] team and said to ourselves ‘that’s the bar.’”
The University Championship was technically the end to the 2018-19 season, which results in an OUA gold medal and a U Sports Silver medal. It was the second provincial title in the past three years for the Mustangs, and the second national medal as well.
The Mustangs have been used to success in recent years, which is why coach Glavanic is motivated to avoid complacency: “The changes [this season] is to not get happy even winning Ontario. To win it all, you have to be in there with Alberta and with Montreal … there are a couple teams there that are always going to be on our radar, so we have to get better,” commented Glavanic on his expectations for the upcoming season.
Leaving the Mustangs for the 2019 season will be their #1 player, Andre Szilvassy. Taking his spot in the #1 position this year will be formerly ATP-ranked player, Andrew Day. “We always seem to find a way to keep it going. That’s our job - to play the best players possible in the right positions they deserve to be,” said Glavanic on this year’s roster.
The Mustangs will be looking for their second OUA gold medal in a row in the fall of 2019, with the hopes of turning it into a U Sports gold in the summer of 2020.