By JOSH RIZZO
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Collin Adams admits everything feels a little different, especially practicing at the Greeman Tennis Center at Reservoir Park.
"Coming out here, this is where the Blue Devils practice," Adams said. "I usually practice at South Park."
Not anymore. Adams transferred to Quincy High School from Quincy Notre Dame and is stepping in as the Blue Devils' No. 1 player. He's off to a solid start, earning three doubles victories and a singles win last weekend at Troy Triad, where QHS played a Friday night dual and took part in Saturday's 16-team invitational.
A bigger challenge awaits Tuesday. That's when QHS and QND meet for the first time.
"It's been a real change," Adams said of the transfer. "Our first match against QND is going to be different. â€¦ Putting on the (QHS) jersey is going to be a real change for me."
Last season, Adams finished 24-5 in singles competition and won the Mid-State Six Conference tournament.
"He's a very tough singles player," QHS coach Mike Terry said. "Athletically, he's very talented. He moves on the court well, hits the ball very cleanly and hard. He's got a modern kind of groundstroke game. His game is built around strong groundstrokes, especially forehand. He sets himself up and hits the ball with a lot of pace."
Bumping up to the top spot required Adams to put in more work over the summer. Finishing points was a major focus for Adams' improvement.
"I've gotten better at point setup, being able to place the ball the ball better to finish the point off," Adams said. "Always staying one move ahead of my opponent, trying to get the point finished as fast as possible, take the lead early and get the motivation to win."
Tom O'Connor and freshman Andrew Fauble have played No. 2 and No. 3 singles thus far, but will compete for the top spot and give the Blue Devils a competitive and motivated top three. Fauble was also a part of four wins last weekend, winning three wins at the invite and one at the dual.
"Andrew is a very consistent player," Terry said. "He keeps the ball in play, he's a smart player."
Having that depth in the top three makes O'Connor think there could be big things ahead for QHS.
"A lot of the teams in our section and the Western Big Six, they have one or two guys, but not three people that can push each other," O'Connor said. "All three of us working together, we should be able to do some good things."
While the weather has limited the Blue Devils' practice time and prevented Terry from developing a concrete lineup, the Blue Devils have developed some depth. Christian Witte, Eric Bellis and Noah Aschemann will fill out the rest of the lineup.