By Riley Vance–
Alex Wesbrooks is one of six talented freshmen on the 2019 men’s tennis team. Eleven matches into the season and he’s already managed a smooth transition to the college level.
Success on the court is nothing new for Wesbrooks, who competed for St. Xavier high school here in Louisville. He arrived on campus as 2018 USTA Kentucky Junior Male Player the Year, as well as Kentucky Mr. Tennis, after leading the Tigers to their 10th straight state championship.
“He’s a mature young man,” head coach Rex Ecarma said about Wesbrooks. “He brings a lot of maturity. I really see him as a future team captain.”
Leadership is an important aspect to bring to the freshman class. Besides Ecarma’s first-years, Louisville features four seniors and two juniors.
No sophomores on the squad put extra weight on freshmen shoulders to lead Louisville in coming years.
“We have a really close team this year,” Wesbrooks said. “I think we have a very good sense of unity, which helps us in the big moments of matches. We all trust each other to compete hard and fight for our team.”
Wesbrooks and his teammates have traveled all over the country to start the season, visiting Hawaii, Virginia, Florida, Dartmouth and Oregon. The Cardinals began a seven-match home stand Feb. 17 with victories over Purdue and Austin Peay.
“It’s been a lot of fun to travel with the team. We’re about to complete a six week road schedule,” Wesbrooks said. “I think we’re all very excited to come out of Boston with a win and get back into the home matches at Bass Rudd.”
With so many newcomers, Ecarma often starts his freshmen in singles and doubles play. Wesbrooks brings a style of “all-around game” according to his coach.
“Some players can be great at one thing and not so good at another, so you’re always working on that,” Ecarma said. “With him, he’s solid in everything. He’s got a good serve, he’s got good ground stokes, he’s got good volleys. We’re just trying to get him stronger in each area. Alex really comes here with no weaknesses.”
Up next, Louisville men’s tennis hosts Northern Kentucky and Xavier on Thursday, Feb. 21.
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Photo by Riley Vance / The Louisville Cardinal