Tensions were running high and the Bobcat tennis team was losing the duel 3-1, with the Griz looking to take over as the new champions in the Brawl of the Wild, when it was senior Kenny Dodd’s turn to play his match.
“When Kenny was playing we were all really nervous and excited at the same time. At some point in the match we were down 3-1, and we were able to bounce back to win 4-3 [overall],” senior Diego Campos, Dodd’s teammate said. “Kenny played a great match and he fought harder than his opponent. It was a good team victory.” Campos added that while the Bobcats managed to beat the Griz in this matchup last year, they were defeated by UM in the Big Sky Conference round last season in a close match.
Dodd had similar post-match thoughts on the Griz. “The Grizzlies are going to really bring the intensity in the conference match, especially since it is at their place. The key for us is to play with high positive energy and support each other as a team. If we can do that, it will really help us get another win,” he said.
This time around, with Dodd’s ability to step up and push through in the last singles match, the team was successful. “I always play my best when I’m enjoying the sport. I just told myself to fight for every point and have fun out on the court,” Dodd said. Additionally, he stated it was a significant confidence booster for the team to be able to perform so well against a tough program like the Griz.
In preparation for this match, Campos shed light on how this matchup against the Griz had certain expectations because of last year’s results. “As a team we knew it was going to be an emotional match… So we had to be focused and we knew the doubles point was going to be really important,” he said.
With added focus and practice, the team will use that momentum come the start of the Big Sky conference tennis tournament this weekend.