SSU Men’s Tennis Seeks Improvement in Year Four

Chase Ward, Staff Reporter

The Shawnee State University men’s tennis team seeks improvement as they prepare for the fall schedule of the program’s fourth year.  Head Coach Steve Boone returns five players from the previous season and adds four new freshmen.

The team is led by senior Caspar Nolte (Germantown, Ohio), who will serve as team captain for the 2019-20 season.  “It always feels good to be seen as a leader by your teammates,” said Nolte when asked about what being elected team captain means to him. Fellow seniors Rodney Spriggs (Lucasville, Ohio) and Chase Ward (Waverly, Ohio) will also look to provide strong leadership for the young squad.

Sophomores Jacob Freeland (Marietta, Ohio) and Austin Hanshaw (Chapmanville, WV), being in the first and second singles positions as freshmen last season, will be expected to have a bigger impact. “If you’ve done it once, it starts to feel more comfortable.  It can be scary at first, but I feel more relaxed and comfortable for this season,” Freeland said when asked on his experience as a freshman in the number one singles position, preparing him for his sophomore campaign.

Freshmen Zayden Rinehart (Rockwood, MI), Koby Hyde (Georgetown, Ohio), Harley Dixon (South Portsmouth, KY), and Tyler Hobbs (Portsmouth, Ohio) are added to the team this season.  The most notable of the newcomers is Rinehart, who frequently turned heads in practice.  “He’s been impressive.  He has a chance to play number one (top singles position), but it’s still neck-and-neck at the top of the roster,” Coach Boone said when asked about Rinehart’s potential.

The team opens the season with a road trip to face Heidelberg and Indiana Tech on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 respectively.  They face Berea College at home on Sept. 21 before hitting the road again on Sept. 27 to face Mount Vernon Nazarene. The team’s final two matches of the fall season will be played at home against Ohio Christian University and Muskingum College on Oct. 3 and Oct. 5.

Shawnee State University Men’s Tennis Team. Photo from