Niagara Gazette — "I'd say the top four teams are all equal," said Hansen, a senior psychology major from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. "Any one of us could the (number) one team going in. It's going to be who wants it the most, and who can play with no fear."
The Purple Eagles bring into this weekend's championship tournament an internationally diverse roster. In addition to Western New York natives including McCune, Mucci, Zilka and Mark Mackowski (Tonawanda), the Purple Eagles men's and women's tennis squads have players hailing from Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Colombia.
Dufour-Coursol, a junior accounting major from Ile-Bizard, Quebec, is the leading player on the Niagara men's side. Heading into this weekend he has an overall record of 23-7 in singles play, including victories in nine of his last 10 matches and a two-match winning streak heading into this weekend. When teamed with Raymond, a sophomore and fellow Quebec native, the pair went 15-8 overall in doubles play.
Dufour-Coursol admitted feeling more comfortable when playing singles but values the importance of successful doubles play. He spoke of the important of the team concept in a sport better known for individual performances.
"It's hard when you first come into college, you don't feel the team spirit (because) you're so used to playing as individual," he said. "The coach, from the first day on, tells you it's a sports team. Every match you play, you play for your team and not for yourself."
When asked who else among the Purple Eagles could impress this weekend, Dufour-Coursol pointed to Schwojer, who hails from Germany.
"He's just a really good number four," he said of his teammate. "When he goes on the court we just can count on him to win every start."