Transy Duo Displays Early Success

by Abby Ferguson

At the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Central Regional Championship on Sept. 24-25 the Transylvania men’s tennis team had a strong showing. Two players that stepped up for the team were juniors Patrick Corbett and Will Palmer.

Together the duo had the best results in the history of the Transy men’s tennis program. In doubles, Corbett and Palmer made it to the Elite Eight before losing 8-1 to a team from DePauw University.

That weekend made Corbett and Palmer realize they could be one of the strongest duos on the court.

“It was a great experience to play against some of the best teams in our region and play at the level we did,” said Corbett. “Considering it was the first time Will and I had played together, I feel like we really worked well together and had a good result. (We) would have really liked to have continued our run deeper into the tournament.”

Although Corbett is new to the team, he and Palmer are still veterans in tennis, both possessing accumulated knowledge about the sport and athletic ability.
“Patrick and Will complement each other’s style of play,” said head coach Chuck Brown. “Patrick is all over the net and Will can set up his ground strokes to set up points at the net for his partner. Both players have good serves and their returns are even better.”

With their different styles of play, the two are becoming a more complete doubles team.

“Playing with Packy (Corbett) is going well. We’ve never really had someone on the team, since I have been here, that is more knowledgeable in doubles than in singles. So in that regard he brings a doubles mindset to the team,” Palmer said.

Palmer sees the differences and knows they can improve to be a more successful duo.

“It’s interesting because our styles are suited for different things and we are going to have to figure out how that will work into our doubles,” Palmer said. “My style is more of a groundstroke-oriented style. I usually stay at the baseline and try to attack my opponent from there. Packy on the other hand is more of a forward player, meaning that he is looking for a chance to come into the net and finish the point as soon as he can.”

According to Brown, their success and dominance on the court “should get (the team) tougher matches this spring.”

Although college tennis is a collective team effort, Palmer and Corbett also have individual goals in mind for the spring season.

“My goals are to win another conference championship first. I also am hoping to win another conference (Most Valuable Player award). I’ve never been to an individual NCAA so that would be something to shoot for as well,” said Palmer.

Corbett aims to be a leader and make an impact on the team’s success.

“I want to come in and help be a leader of this team and do whatever it takes to help us win,” Corbett said.

Even though Palmer and Corbett are strong individually and as a doubles team, they are more focused on what they can do to help the Transy team as a whole.

“I really want to keep all of the streaks the teams before us have started going, while also excelling as a player myself in singles and doubles,” said Corbett.
Individually, Palmer has been a prominent figure as well. He has been named a two-time Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference MVP during his years at Transy. This season he will be in search of his third-straight MVP. The only other Transy player to have done this was Ethan Busald, who won four straight awards from 2002 to 2005.

“Will has been working on his strength and fitness this summer just for this tournament. He wanted to do well and he had his best results in the ITA. … I expect Palmer to step up his leadership this year for our team,” said Brown.

Palmer was pleased with his success in both singles and doubles in the tournament. In singles, he charged into the Sweet Sixteen before falling in three sets to DePauw’s Noah Swiler.

“I still feel like there are some things that I could have done better, but nonetheless I feel like I reached my goals as an individual,” said Palmer.
Brown is confident that this duo will be among the names in the preseason rankings and they “will be able to move up the rankings if they play well in 2011.”

“We have a lot of fun,” said Corbett. “Will’s a great player and being able to play with him, knowing we can rely on each other to make shots makes it a lot easier for us to relax on the court and have a good time.”

“I am almost positive that Packy and I should go unbeaten this year and make it to (the) NCAA (tournament),” Palmer said.

The men will resume their quest to the Division III NCAAs in the spring.


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