Newcomers add experience, fun to Mesa men's and women's tennis teams
They come from nearly opposite parts of the country, but Blake Demond and Cody Freischlag are so alike, their new Colorado Mesa tennis teammates sometimes get them confused.
Demond is a sophomore transfer from Palm Springs, Calif.
Freischlag is a freshman from the Chicago metro area.
“First day someone said (Freischlag) kind of reminds me of you,” Demond said. “I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ I don’t even see it.”
Are they starting to see it?
“No, not really,” they laughed.
The pair of 6-foot-plus players play a similar game with big kick serves and strong net games. And they are going to be doubles partners for the 2013-14 season.
They are so similar that CMU coach Dan MacDonald gets them confused.
“Coach calls me Blake sometimes,” Freischlag said. Demond added, “He called me Cody for the first time the other day.”
“It doesn’t help we’re doubles partners, either,” Freischlag said.
“I shaved the head though,” Demond said.
“I should get on that,” Freischlag said.
“It’s going to be a fun season,” Demond said.
The duo join four returning players for the men’s team, hoping to knock off Western New Mexico for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title this year. The Mustangs defeated Mesa for the RMAC Championship last season. The RMAC preseason poll comes out in February.
Jordan Lyden is back at No. 1 singles. Spencer Weinberg is back at No. 2 and Andres Garcia-Rojas is back at No. 3 singles.
Trevor Brown returns after rotating between playing singles and doubles. He’ll likely play No. 6 singles this year. Taylor Macres is ineligible this fall, he but is expected to return in the spring.
“We have great depth on the men’s team,” MacDonald said. “We still have a young team, but it’s a good, solid group.”
Demond and Freischlag will likely play No. 4 and 5 singles and be doubles partners.
“We call them the twin towers when they play doubles,” MacDonald said. “We beefed up our doubles teams.”
Demond and Freischlag came to Mesa for the tennis program, outdoor opportunities and education.
They already seem to fit in with the team.
“I love where I fit dynamically on the team,” Freischlag said. “All the guys are becoming close. I hope in the next couple years to take part in a leadership role with this team and get a conference championship.”
CMU Women’s Tennis
Junior Natalie Martin is providing more depth for the Colorado Mesa women’s team for the 2013-14 season.
The Seattle University transfer will take over the No. 1 singles spot, bumping the rest of the Mavericks down a spot.
That was perfectly fine with senior Kaylee Davis, who took some beatings at No. 1.
“She can have No. 1 singles,” Davis said. “That’s totally fine with me. I’ll play under her and try to get my win. I had my turn playing it. I’m happy to pass it on and let her do it.
“Everyone’s getting bumped down, so know we get to play at a level everyone gets a better chance at winning.”
Davis is one of five returning starters for the women’s team, which also returns two more players with playing experience.
Davis will drop down to No. 2 or 3 singles this year, and Shannen McNamara is back fill the other spot.
Rachel McLaughlin, Kristyn Wykert and Emily Dodson return to play 4, 5 and 6 singles.
“For us, it’s always going to be about depth,” MacDonald said. “Natalie has come and pushed everyone down a spot.
“We need points from all the spots.”
Martin grew up playing tennis in Tempe, Ariz. Her mother is a teaching professional, and her older sister played at Arizona State University. Martin was mostly a substitute for Division I Seattle and was 9-7 in her No. 6 singles matches.
“I’m looking forward to trying to get first in our (conference),” Martin said. “I’m looking forward to getting to travel. I know we’re going to a lot of interesting places.”
With Martin’s addition, the Mavericks hope to swipe the RMAC championship from Western New Mexico and possibly qualify for the NCAA Division II Tournament.
“I personally want to win it,” McNamara said. “It’s my senior year. I’d like to pull it off. We have a strong team.”