Kayla Morong, ’12, Sports Editor
Growing up, Sean Pahler and Max Eppley developed a passion for tennis.
Pahler began learning the sport when he was 8 years old and picked up the game very easily. Before he knew it he was competing in tournaments and soon enough winning matches.
Eppley entered the sport at age 12, which he said is considered old for most players who start competing collegiately and professionally.
When deciding where to play collegiate tennis, Merrimack College didn’t inspire a moment’s hesitation for the two seniors.
“Once I came on an official visit, meeting the coach and players, I knew I wanted to part of this team,” said Pahler.
For Eppley, Liam Hoare, who was a former player and now holds the assistant coach position, influenced him to consider playing for the Warriors.
“I went on the recruiting trip and loved the coach and the team,” he said.
Pahler and Eppley have experienced many successes throughout their tennis career. After missing most of the 2011 season for surgery on his thumb, Pahler was still able to achieve his 100th win. He reached that mark against Chestnut Hill on March 18. During the match, Pahler and Eppley won their doubles competition 8-5, making him the first player in Merrimack’s history to record 100 wins. Thirteen days after Pahler’s achievement, Eppley joined his doubles partner, being the second player to reach 100 wins as they defeated Pace University.
“I knew going into the match that I was at 99, but the match was a little closer than anticipated so when we won our doubles match I had completely forgotten about it until my teammates congratulated me,” said Eppley enthusiastically.
Obtaining their 100th win was a great accomplishment for Pahler and Eppley. Pahler, being the senior captain, has found the season to be extremely exciting.
The team has one more match left in its regular season, on Friday against Stonehill College at 3 p.m.
“If we win the Northeast-10 title and playoffs, this season will not be comparable to the others,” Pahler said. “I want to go out on top and we have worked hard enough this year to do that.”
With the tennis season coming to an end, the two have shown great support and contribution to the team.
“When I first played tennis at Merrimack there were no big expectations for us, but now every year we contend for the title,” said Eppley.
Pahler, a civil engineering student, wants to pursue a career in the field in either Massachusetts or New Jersey after he graduates. Business major Eppley, on the other hand, hopes to travel in Europe and work there in the upcoming year.
Looking back to their four years of dedication to the tennis program, both seniors have something in common; their proudest memory. For Pahler and Eppley, winning the first round of the NCAA tournament their freshman was a great accomplishment. Not only was this one of their favorite memories, but they also value the importance of teamwork. With a talented team this season, the Northeast-10 title is something that both players hope to achieve.