By: Ryan Gorham
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association has named UMW men’s tennis player Moses Hutchinson player of the week for March 8.
Coach Todd Helbling stated that Hutchinson’s time on the Mary Washington tennis team has led to steady improvements that continue every day.
“Moses is off to a very strong start this season. He has improved steadily during his time at Mary Washington and he continues to develop every day,” said Helbling. “In singles, he was points away from beating a nationally ranked Division I player in our first scrimmage and he did defeat a very strong player from George Mason. From there, he has wins over three highly ranked accomplished DIII players so far this year, including #6 in the nation from Kenyon College.”
Hutchinson is a junior majoring in pre-law who has been with the tennis team since he was a freshman.
According to the ITA’s website, Hutchinson was named player of the week for his outstanding performance at last week’s tennis games. He made a comeback against Kenyon University’s Jake Zalenski, who was ranked No. 6 in the Men’s National Singles last fall, leading to the highest-ranked win of Hutchinson’s career. He also won his match against John Carroll University’s Gustavo Garcia, winning in straight sets 6-4 and 6-2.
Hutchinson also went undefeated in doubles that weekend with his partner, senior Michael Fleming. Their coach is confident in their ability to work together and considers them to be one of the strongest doubles teams in the nation.
“In doubles, he was an All American last year and has picked up where he left off. He and his partner, Michael Fleming, are undefeated in DIII matches and I feel could be one of the best doubles teams in the country,” said Helbling.
Helbling attributes Hutchinson receiving this award due to his dedication to the sport during the season and in the offseason, as well as his offensive capabilities on the court allowing him to take command of the match.
“Moses has been a very hard worker since he arrived. He has also been dedicated in the off-seasons, playing on his own with teammates and tournaments over the summer.” commented Helbling, “His work rate combined with his offensive game style has allowed him to continue improving daily. He has a huge serve, which is a big weapon, and his offensive play allows him to dictate play.”
Hutchinson believes that his recognition as Player of the Week is due to all the coaches that have taught him and supported his growth so far.
“I think my coaches and teammates throughout the years have all been absolutely spectacular. Drew Robinson was the reason I got into tennis he’s been teaching since before I was born and he’s awesome. Kyle Allen was also my coach and still my coach when I go home.” said Hutchinson “I think he’s the reason I upped my game enough to come to Mary Washington. Todd Helbling, my coach at UMW is also an amazing coach. He single-handedly helped me improve in every area of my game since I’ve come to college. Lastly, my mom, she’s been involved since the very beginning and helped me with everything tennis.”
The season has been good for the team, with an overall record of five wins and one loss. While the remainder of the spring season has been cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19, Hutchinson will be back to play for his senior year.
When asked if he would continue playing tennis professionally, Hutchinson was doubtful but did not rule it out as a possibility in the future.
“I’ve had some people offer that idea up to me. To try and play professional doubles after college. It’s very enticing however it’s also expensive and finding a partner with the same goals and the right game style to complement one another is a challenge itself. I’d shoot for it’s unlikely but not off the table I guess.”