By Evan Slavit
When asked to go into more detail about his time on the tennis team, Nault can’t help but mention his teammates.
Currently the six starters on the team are Nault, Saul Kurtz ‘11, Michael Kanner ‘11, Alex Katz ‘11, Goodnow, and Shaunak Champaneria ‘14. Four of those six are seniors and thus have played their last match at Union. What is amazing to Nault is how those guys have made the tennis team a more cohesive unit, and how they have made each other better.
Going into their freshman year Kurtz, Kanner, Goodnow and Katz were not the most polished players. Throughout their four years they pushed each other and forced themselves to grow into the top tier players that they are today. They became players that gave their coach the confidence to schedule a match with a Division I opponent for the first time in Union College history.
With those seniors leaving, Nault admits that next year will be a rebuilding year. While that could upset most seniors, Nault is looking forward to the challenge. This past year’s number one starter, Nault is looking to do more for the team next year than winning matches.
Nault looks at the four seniors as an example of how much better the team can be if they push each other. As the only four-year starter on the team next season, he realizes that responsibility falls on him.
“I want to advocate the same amount of cohesiveness and support that the team has shown me these past three years,” Nault said. “I want to continue the competitive spirit of the team, while at the same time keep tennis a facet of Union College and not the dominant experience.”
This past season he took a good first step to showing his leadership. Andrew Schwartz ‘13 is the seventh player on the team, and so an alternate at most matches. For the Liberty League championship, Schwartz was asked to go as they needed an alternate, even though it was unlikely he would play. Despite his less than desirable situation, after talking with Nault and a few other teammates, Schwartz realized even if he didn’t play his teammates would love him to be there.
While there has not been an official announcement yet, and there won’t be till next season, Nault looks poised to assume the captaincy of the tennis team.
An objective observer would have to only look at Nault’s success both on and off the court to see that. Hopefully his leadership can lead to another productive season next year, and could be used as a building block for years to come.