Not every collegiate athletic program is lucky enough to have a nationally ranked individual athlete, but with sophomore tennis star Branden Metzler, K is one of those lucky institutions.
Metzler is originally from Rockford, Ill. where he attended and played tennis at Rockford Auburn High School. After being a highly sought after tennis recruit, Metzler chose K because of the historic tennis program and the rigorous academic curriculum. “You get the best of both worlds [academic and athletic] here, you don’t get that other places,” says Metzler.
On the court he plays one singles for the Hornets, and sometimes two doubles as well. He plays right-handed and uses a two-handed backhand to hit dominating groundstrokes throughout his matches. When Metzler plays doubles he gets to showcase his intelligent skillset at the net with stunning volleys as well as his powerful serve.
In his short time at K he has already helped the men’s tennis team keep their conference championship streak alive at 76 straight years. Last year he was also named MIAA MVP as a freshmen and held a conference record of 5-0 in singles and 5-0 in doubles. Metzler qualified for and competed at NCAA Division 3 Singles Championships in Claremont, Calif. before finishing the season ranked number 31 nationally.
Even though he’s only experienced one full season on K’s tennis team, Metzler still has plenty of memories with his teammates and his coach. “We were happy the streak went on last year,” says Metzler. “Coach trusted me and let me play one singles as a freshmen, it gave me a lot of confidence.”
Despite his commitment to his sport and his teammates, he still finds a way to enjoy Kalamazoo College away from the courts.
He is a double major in chemistry and economics, and is very interested in pursuing business pharmaceuticals some day. “Fiscal Policy [with McKinney] is one of my favorite classes so far,” he says. “I learned a lot from that and my freshman seminar Who are the Samurai.”
Metzler is a go-getter type of guy, not just in school and sports, but in life as well. In fact, he’s been one since he was a lot younger. “One time when I was little and fishing with my dad, a fish pulled my pole into the water and I jumped right in to get my pole back,” says Metzler remembering this favorite childhood memory that shows his go-getter spirit.