“At first, I was watching tennis on the TV at Grandma’s house,” said junior Joseph Suess, “and I knew I wanted to play.”
Suess, an accounting major from New Milford, Connecticut, plays for Franciscan’s men’s tennis team and has been playing tennis for 11 years.
“From (ages) 9 to 14 it was very recreational,” said Suess. “Then I started to get a lot better … I was on my local club team throughout high school.”
Suess says that everyone in his family, except his dad, plays tennis.
“Back at home, my mom and the four other siblings play at least weekly,” said Suess, “so it’s a big part of our family. My brother is a freshman and he joined the team this year; I’m very happy to have him.”
Suess says he loves playing tennis at Franciscan.
“I have the greatest teammates in the world. They’re a solid group of young men that motivate me on and off the court,” said Suess. “It’s college level, so it has a lot more challenges and a lot more intensity. This is my third season with the Barons and hopefully it will be a nice four (seasons) when I finish.”
Suess normally plays No. 3 doubles on the team and is hoping for a much more solid place in the starting line-up this season.
“This season I want to improve my groundstroke consistency and really eliminate my unforced errors,” said Suess. “I want to continue working hard at strength and conditioning, both with the team and independently.”
One of Suess’s favorite memories with the tennis team is playing in Florida his freshman year and doubling up with a senior on the team at that time.
“Throughout the whole thing I was just thinking, ‘I want to be like him,’ and, ‘This is so much fun and he’s really good and he’s really positive – that’s what I want to be when I become a senior,’” said Suess. “That was a defining moment in my Baron career. We did win the match by the way.”
Suess appreciates head tennis coach Scott Greve, saying, “He’s more than generous with his time and dedication to us, which is another reason why I love playing for the Barons.”
“We are just representatives of Franciscan (and) our Catholic mission,” said Suess. “We are recognized for our Christian-like sportsmanship on and off the court, which is important to me because it just makes athletics so much better.”
Suess says he’s excited for the new tennis season and looking forward to fighting for the tennis team’s ninth conference championship in a row.
“I have a lot to be thankful for,” said Suess, “and a lot to look forward to.”