By Madeleine Wright
This week for Furman men’s tennis I decided to get off the sidelines and into the fiery entity that makes up the Furman men’s tennis team.
After a little encouragement from a fellow teammate, junior Nate Collins agreed to take a few strokes at the questions I had stewing around my head regarding individual achievement and the team. This Boston native started his Furman career as a freshman, competing in one singles match against Brevard for a 7-6, 6-2 victory.
The following season, Collins stepped up his game competing in 17 double matches for the Paladins, mostly playing in the second and third doubles slots. Some of his highlights from his sophomore season include a 8-6 win over Navy and a close 9-8 win at Winthrop in doubles with partner Watson George.
In the 2013 spring season, Collins eagerly awaits to hit the clay in single as well as double matches.
Despite his already enormously busy schedule being an athlete at Furman, Collins is currently rounding out his business degree while staying active in his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order.
Even though he started playing tennis when he was only six, Collins claims he was drawn to the sport because of the “good looking girls.” (Yet, when I asked his thoughts on Maria Sharapova, Collins responded with an “ehhh.”)
Pretty girls aside, Collins pursued tennis by working at a club in the Hampton’s as well as playing under coach Perry Nelson at The Governor’s Academy.
During his career at the Academy, Collins captained the tennis team both his junior and senior year.
He was also awarded All-Scholastic honors and MVP for four consecutive years. Collins moved out of the North and came to Furman on the notion that it was a “great school [that] seemed like a great fit for [him.]” As previously mentioned, Collins as a junior still adds to the team with his wit, talent, and dazzling personality.
When I asked him what has kept him going since he doesn’t play against pretty girls anymore, the answer was simple—inspiration from his tennis idol, Marat Safin and “the man,” better known as his father. They help keep his chip backhand-dropshot-winner-down-the-line shot sharp and accurate.
In the short time I spent with Collins, it was clear to me how each diverse personality of the tennis team comes together to make an undeniable force.
There is a lot of potential with this team and we will have to await their next matches to see what the team can bring.
Starting off spring break, the men’s tennis team will be facing many teams as they travel all the way to La Jolla, CA for the Pacific Coast Doubles March 1to 3.