MSU Men's Tennis Preview: Sophomore Dillon Pineda's thoughts on upcoming season

WICHITA FALLS - The Midwestern State Men's Tennis team earned several Lone-Star Conference honors last season.

Dillon Pineda earned All-Conference doubles honors and was recognized as the Lone Star Conference Sportsmanship Player of the Year.

While excelling on the tennis court Pineda's competitive passion began on the basketball court.

"My dad played basketball, like a lot of basketball," said Pineda. "So growing up basketball was my main sport until sophomore year of high school."

Pineda took a liking to tennis after seeing his sister Lauren Pineda play, who was also a former Mustang. 

"I was watching my sister play and I got bored watching her play, so I decided to try it out and turned out I was actually pretty good at it. So, my parents kept me in tennis."

Although Pineda and his doubles partner Ramon Toyos made it to 11th nationally  in doubles last season, Pineda said as a team the Mustangs didn't make it as far as they wanted.

"We started out very strong in the season, but ultimately fell short of where we wanted to go which was Nationals, we lost in the regional round. It's really disappointing. I was the last match off and I lost due to cramping. So, it hurts to kind of be the one that lost it for your team. Not because I wasn't good enough to play, but just because I wasn't healthy enough. I starting cramping. So, it was really difficult and it hurt a lot, but it was pretty good fuel for this season."

"I expect for us to go to the National Tournament, make Elite 8, hopefully Final 4 which is one our team goals. We're a really young team we have a lot of freshman this year, but I think we should be able to do it. We're very fired up, we're very passionate about the sport and I think if we continue to work hard and continue to train the way we've been training, we can get there."

And  he said his beliefs and passion for the game of tennis will also help.

"Every time I step on the court, I like to pray before I play a match. I like to give all my praises to God, all my victories to him, and even my losses. I think what also separates me, is that I'm very passionate, I'm very fiery. I'm usually one of the loudest guys out here. So definitely passion and my beliefs guide me in my every day life."

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