Many have heard the phrase, “sports don’t build character, they reveal it,” but few truly know what that means. Second-year tennis coach Myron Diener has witnessed this theory first hand while training the gutsy young women of the Hesston College tennis team.
“I believe that true character of an individual shows when they are losing in competition,” said Diener. “It is easy to be happy, jovial, considerate and sporting when you are in a winning position, but these gals demonstrate these characteristics on the court regardless of whether they are winning or losing.”
Having positive attitudes and strong quality character are key components as an athlete, but sometimes not enough. The women have only two wins this season, both to Central Christian College (McPherson).
“To know these gals one would understand that they are not happy to lose at the frequency that has occurred this spring, but they have demonstrated the emotional maturity both on and off the court to well represent the Hesston College Larks’ women’s tennis,” said Diener.
Diener applauds the team’s effort, as a whole, that they have put in this spring. They have yet to lose a single match by default, which is more than many teams can say.
The roster for the Larks is full of variety, sporting some brave and willing athletes. Three converted sophomore soccer players, Dusti Diener (Harrisonville, Mo.), Courtney Wengerd (Goshen, Ind.), and Rachel Short-Miller (Bellingham, Wash.), display their versatility when on the court.
Bel Canto stars, Karli Mast (Hubbard, Ore.) and Kiara Boettger (Harrisonburg, Va.) show that they can shine other places than on stage.
Freshman volleyball player, Brooke Hershberger (Goshen, Ind.), has ventured from the hardwood in Yost Center to the tennis courts 20 feet away.
Other brave souls to join the tennis team this spring are Rachel Jantzi (Henderson, N.C.), Caroline Riggenbach (Lafayette, Ind.), and Molly Cherveny (Topeka, Kan.). These nine women have joined forces with the only two dedicated fall players, Adrienne Derstine (Harleysville, Pa.) and Lorren Oesh (Caldwell, Idaho), to make a wonderfully encouraging team.
Hershberger and Diener have graciously taken the spots at the top of the ladder, fighting in very competitive and well played matches against fierce opponents. They have taken on players from very strong programs, Doane (Create, Neb.) and Bethel (N. Newton) both to 3rd set tie breakers, unfortunately coming up short in the end.
Clearly showing the desire to win, just yet to complete the task, Cherveny, Derstine, and Oesch show a lot of heart week after week.
After discovering that they have not played in a competitive tennis match prior to this season, spectators’ attention is drawn to Wengerd and Short-Miller.
“The rest of the team, while not getting as much time on the courts, continue to support the team through their positive attitudes in practice and support for their teammates at matches,” said Diener.
“These women will not be getting many triumphs from their match wins, but they have demonstrated what it is to be a team, and how to carry oneself in the tennis arena,” said Diener.
Featured image, top of page: Lorren Oesch – Photo by Larry Bartel, HC Marketing and Communications