Youthful Jackets prepare for season ahead

The Baldwin Wallace Men’s Tennis team looks to use their combination of experience and youth to be successful on the court as well as in the classroom. They started with a step in the right direction with a season opening victory against Penn State Behrend on Feb. 15.

The Yellow Jackets graduated two All OAC performers from last season. However, returning will be OAC Honorable Mention award winner Jake Elbin. Elbin, along with Michael Benoit were named captains of the team.  Head Coach Brian Rector looks for a breakout season from Elbin.

Elbin has shown much promise in his career being a dual-sport athlete playing both basketball and tennis. This will be his fourth year starting for the tennis team.  Rector said that with his success, Elbin looks to set a good example for the youth this team possesses. He has moved up to the number one singles player for the team and looks to be a key part of potential success. “Jake is a dual-sport athlete and is very organized in his routines and match preparation,” Rector said. “This sets a positive example for the freshman to grab on to”

The Jackets will have plenty of youth to look up to Elbin as they introduced four new freshmen into the program. Three of these freshmen have found their way into the starting lineups this spring. Rector looks for two, in particular, to make big strides in their freshman seasons.  “I actually look to two freshmen to have breakout or impact seasons in Grant Smith and Trey Kernan.  Both are adjusting to college life away from home now in the second semester and have shown a desire to improve,” Rector said. “Each earned their first college match victories (singles and doubles) this past weekend. They were pivotal in our team win vs. non-conference opponent Penn State Behrend”

With this combination of youth and experience, the Yellow Jackets have big aspirations for the upcoming season. One of which is an OAC title.

A big component of this will be having confidence in their abilities. Head Coach Brian Rector says that to take the next step and obtain a title the team needs a combination of believing in their abilities, along with better execution. “A key step this year is the belief that we can accomplish the goal of OAC Champion. The OAC title is possible and starts with each student-athlete and coach believing it is possible. Improving on-court strategy and in-match adjustments will be key steps”

The Jackets look forward to an early challenge during their annual spring break trip. This year they will be headed to Hilton Head, SC. They will test their skills against teams from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington D.C. This early tournament will be a challenge for the Yellow Jackets and prepare them for their challenging OAC schedule.


The Yellow Jackets Women’s team started their spring season a week before the men and sit at 0-2 during the spring. After falling to Oberlin College and Wooster with match scores of 9-0, it marks the Yellow Jackets sixth consecutive loss of the 2019-20 season, including the fall portion.


The women’s team is back in action in early March, as the team has spring break match ups lined up with five non-conference opponents in Orlando, Florida. When the team returns, they begin OAC play against Capital University.