Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 11, 2014

Carey, Bluefield State look to make statement at nationals

By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Earning respect.  That is the goal of Bluefield State College tennis player Jacob Carey. Carey wants the Big Blues and Atlantic Region to gain respect by winning at this week’s NCAA Division II championships.

Over the last couple of years we have done pretty well and that’s  given us a bit of a platform,” Carey said. “Now we are trying to push our expectations even further than what we have had in the past. We have been focusing, training hard to win regionals and now we want to go on and win at match at nationals. We really want to be able to go down to Florida and prove that the Atlantic Region can compete just as hard as any region.”

Carey is the No. 1 seed on the Bluefield State team this season and he said from the onset of the season the team has been focused with one goal in sight.

“The whole semester we have been working really hard as a team, all eight of us,” Carey said. “We’ve been trying to get down to the court, practice as much as we can every day, trying to prepare ourselves as best we can for big matches, like we just had at regionals.”

The New Zealand native came to BSC after sending his information to tennis coach Louis Belt.

“We talked a little bit about the opportunities that I would have here and what I could do for him ad the tennis team,” Carey said. “I guess we managed to reach an agreement. He (Belt) does a lot of good work recruiting. He’s got a people here from all over the world. He’s got every continent covered now. He does a really good job of recruiting.”

Carey attributes a lot of the team’s success to their close bonds, formed by the love of tennis.

“We have eight people on the men’s tennis team and all eight of us live together at The Upperclassman,” Carey noted. “We spend most of our time hanging out with each other, doing things, going to the movies, playing mini golf or something like that.

“Being together at The Upperclassman, having dorms, that’s good because we are always right there. We can always hang out. It gives us an opportunity to be together and help each other out and really become more of a tight unit because the more time we spend together, the closer we become and it helps you when you’re in those really tough matches. You really trust your teammates. You get motivated based on what they are doing as well as what you’re doing yourself.”

Carey started playing tennis at the age of 6, but admits that it was about four years later when he began taking it seriously when he started playing with his brother. The sport is popular in New Zealand and according to Carey, ranks third in popularity and participation.

In the classroom Carey has a double major of accounting and business administration. He was recently named BSC sophomore Business Student of the Year.

Asked how often he returns to his homeland, Carey said, “I came over here in August 2012. I have been here for almost two years now. I went home for the first time last December, so I was here for about 18 months before I finally got to go home. I didn’t miss home too much.”

Carey and the Blues leave for Florida, Monday. The team will travel to Charleston, then fly to Orlando, Fla., where they take on Southwest Baptist of Missouri in their first match on Wednesday afternoon. Carey reiterated it closing their mission.

“I want us to be able to show that teams in the Atlantic Region are actually there to compete,” Carey stated. “I want to be able to go down there and show that we are not some easy region. We want to compete and beat some of those teams that are down there.”

— Contact Bob Redd at bredd@bdtonline.com