Raquel Vescovi, head men’s and women’s tennis coach, reflects on a successful fall season that included an undefeated record in regular season play and eight titles at the Midwest Conference Individual Tournaments.
Vescovi attributes this success to the work the team put it during preseason. “We did a lot of different things heading into the season and took time to discuss how we can become the best team in the conference,” she began. “We practiced different strategies and I think the confidence the team acquired was also very helpful.”
Vescovi is in her third year as a head coach at Lake Forest and her seventh at the collegiate level. Under her direction, the Forester women’s team has won 23 of 27 matches in league play and reached the championship match of the four-team MWC Tournament the last two seasons.
“My philosophy as a coach is to develop a winning culture on and off the court and to build a resilient and mentally tough team,” Vescovi states. “We talk about this quite a bit and how important it is to bring a positive outlook to practices and competitions.”
Off the court, Vescovi’s players are equally successful. The women’s tennis team earned All-Academic Team honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and individual Foresters have garnered eight Academic All-MWC distinctions in the last two seasons combined. The ITA All-Academic Team is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or above and Scholar-Athlete awards are awarded to student-athletes who hold a grade point average of at least 3.50.
At the Midwest Conference Individual Tournaments in October, the Foresters captured five of the six singles brackets and swept the three doubles events. Lake Forest became the first conference team in 14 years to win eight of nine. No team in the league has ever swept all nine positional championships. It is no surprise that Vescovi was named MWC Coach of the Year for these accomplishments.
This was the third time Vescovi received a conference coach of the year award, but the first time at Lake Forest. “I have loved watching the team develop over the last two years,” she commented. “This award represents their success and I like to think that I played a role in that.”
When looking ahead to spring season, Vescovi holds high goals for both the women’s and men’s team. On the women’s side, Vescovi hopes to make the team’s first ever appearance at the NCAA Division III Tournament and will work toward a top 15 regional ranking.
On the men’s side, Vescovi looks forward to a competitive season and developing a young team. She goes on to say that, “we’re going to have young talent in the lineup this year and return senior captain Joe Bove, who will add leadership and match play experience to the team.”
The women’s team will continue the 2018-19 season with a non-conference dual match on Sunday, March 24, against Augustana and the men’s team will begin their season on Saturday, February 2, versus Elmhurst.