Tennis: LC grad Adam Meeker living the dream
By Ryan Haskell Post-Tribune correspondent April 14, 2013 4:06PM
Updated: May 16, 2013 6:37AM
Lake Central graduate Adam Meeker didn’t think playing college tennis was a possibility.
That’s when he caught the eye of St. Joseph’s College coach Reggie Sanderson.
Now the former Indians first singles player is not only living his dream, but winning matches at nearly a 75 percent rate.
“Adam is a hard worker,” Sanderson said of his No. 6 singles tennis player who is 17-8 through 25 matches. “He is very intelligent; he’s got a good brain for tennis. He’s tall (6-foot-3) and he has good court sense.”
Meeker didn’t have SJC in the picture until Sanderson spotted him at the Northwest Athletic Club in Michigan City.
“I went there for a tournament and that’s where Reggie was,” said Meeker, who coincidentally finished 17-8 in singles play his freshman year. “He came up to me and said ‘Hey, I’d like you to come to camp and I played with his son and he saw my competitive level.
“It’s amazing how fast it happened. Within a span of two weeks, I was going to (St. Joe’s) instead of a bunch of different options I had been considering. To me, playing tennis in college is a dream.”
But there’s still things Meeker — a finance major — hopes to accomplish.
The tennis program has slowly rebuilt itself over the past couple years and next year Sanderson and Meeker hope the team can finally qualify for the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament. The top four teams from each division earn spots in the conference tournament for a chance to win the crown. There are 12 teams in the GLVC total.
The Pumas won two conference matches this year and gave the top team in the conference, Lewis University, a run for its money recently, dropping a competitive 6-3 contest.
“St. Joe’s wasn’t close to competing in conference when I got here,” Meeker said. “But we’ve come a long way since then. Lewis is the 36th rank team in the country (in NCAA Division II) and we lost to them 3-6 and two matches could have swung either way. Next year, we’re going to come out even stronger because we have a lineup of seniors and juniors.”
Sanderson is looking forward to the future too with an experience-laden team back next spring. His team is 11-8 overall with four matches remaining.
“We aren’t graduating anybody so we know coming into next year we’ll have a lot more experience,” Sanderson said. “We just feel like we’re going in the right direction. We were losing matches 9-0 last year and are playing those same teams this year and losing 6-3 or 7-2.”
Meeker is hoping to make his junior year the best one yet with the team’s post-season berth being the cherry on top.
“Next year will be our best year to make it,” Meeker said. “We have to win two matches (against our division) to get in the conference tournament. And that’s the goal.
“It’s going to take a lot of work but I think we can do it.”