Nettle set to finish four-year
Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2000
career as Trojan captain
By STEVEN G. WATSON
Yesterday was senior day for two Troy State tennis players and in an appropriate tribute the Trojans were 7-0 winners over Lamar University.
Shannon Nettle and Craig Richards are both in their final year of competition for TSU, but hopefully after the season is over a certain streak that TSU head coach Chad Hebert has uncovered won’t continue without the assistance of senior captain Nettle.
"Since he’s been here Troy State has never won a match in which Nettle lost his individual singles match," Hebert said. "That tells you a lot about his importance. He’s been a team captain three-straight years and he will be sorely missed around here."
The four-year letterman at TSU is the all-time singles and doubles leader in wins and is an Academic All-American to boot.
Nettle found his way to Troy State from a small town called Cobdogla, Australia, with a population of around 200 people. As an international student and athlete, Nettle says that Troy State has been a perfect fit for him the last four years.
"It’s really be an great balance between school, social life and my athletic life," Nettle said. "I’ve had a great time all four year’s I’ve been here. The smaller campus and student population has really helped me fit in here at Troy State.
"It took some adjustment moving all the way from Australia to Troy, especially the change from the southern to northern hemisphere and all," he continued. "But I was drawn to the south because of the weather and the level of competition. Most of the collegiate sports are highly competitive, especially tennis."
As far as fitting in at Troy State, Nettle has become a part of the growing population of international students and athletes which he says bonds together on and off the playing fields of TSU.
"It’s really fantastic here with all the other international students," Nettle said. "When you hear about other people from your country, especially competing in other sports, you tend to attract to each other. We root each other on.
"There are no Americans on our team right now," he added. "With over 10 different countries represented it’s kind of interesting to hear all the languages that are spoken, especially when people get angry."
Nettle is part of the dynamic duo Troy State has enjoyed on the double’s circuit this year as well. He and partner Willy Campos have been ranked as high as 19th nationally in the NCAA doubles polls and hope to power their way to the next level to finish off a great season.
"First off we want to win the TAAC title then, mine and Willy’s personal goal is to make it to the NCAA Nationals," Nettle said. "That would be a great accomplishment just to get there and we would be facing some of the top talent in the country."
"They have a 23-5 record in doubles matches this year which breaks the old record of 19 wins in one season," Hebert said of the duo. "They still have a long way to go so you can see that they are going not only break that old record, but smash it."
Both Nettle and fellow senior Richards finished with impressive wins Tuesday against Lamar. Richards defeated Brady Massola 6-2, 6-4 in straight sets while Nettle was a perfect 6-0, 6-0 over Nebojia Murimi in singles and won 8-1 with Campos in doubles.
The Trojans are now 8-8 overall and 1-1 in the conference. Their next match will be against TAAC foe Mercer scheduled for Saturday.