Despite being picked to finish last and second to last in conference, the Omaha men's and women's tennis teams have both gotten off to encouraging starts.
The women's squad is off to a perfect 2-0 after a 7-0 blowout win over Nebraska Wesleyan, followed by a hard fought 4-3 victory over former North Central Conference rival North Dakota.
It will be months before Nebraska weather will allow any tennis outdoors, but on Sunday the UNO men's tennis team got their season underway indoors at the Hanscom Brandeis Tennis Center, and the women aren't far behind.
The men are coming off a season in which they finished 6-13. The ladies went 7-12 in 2011-12, but at one point were 3-11 before winning four of their last five matches.
It's a new season with many new opponents and many fresh faces, but the goals remain the same.
"Getting better, improving each day," Head Coach Mike Saniuk said. "Building better players to increase the program."
The UNO men's and women's tennis team swept Hastings on Saturday afternoon, and the women dropped a 6-1 decision at Sioux Falls Wednesday. The men won 4-3 on the strength of a strong start in doubles, and the women overwhelmed the Broncos 7-0.
A season ago Mike Saniuk took the reins as the head coach of the UNO men's tennis team and coached the Mavs to their best finish in three seasons of play. UNO men's tennis went 9-9 in 2010/2011, and made it as far as the semifinals of the MIAA conference tournament.
When the week began, the UNO men's tennis team was looking at the possibility of going the year without a win over a fellow Division I team. But a 4-3 win over Western Illinois on Monday guaranteed that wouldn't happen.