The Colonials were swept by Red Lion that day, but Martin was struck by their reaction, how upset they were. They didn't have the same response a year ago.
"I think last year, when we lost, it was, 'Oh, well, we lost another one,'" Martin said. "Our guys were really upset about (the loss to Red Lion). That's enough to show they care more and strive to win every match and fight for every point."
He believes the turnaround in attitude -- which can be indicated in the Colonials' cheer of "swag" -- has helped them reach 7-1 after their 7-0 home sweep of Dover on Tuesday afternoon. The seven wins tie for the most under Martin, who is in his seventh season.
New Oxford's Kodie Stem earned a 6-1, 6-1 win in the No. 1 singles match against Dover's Nate Williams. Mike Gruver and Jeffrey Stiles, who each earned individual victories, combined to win the No. 1 doubles match, 8-4.
Dwight Kessler and Josh Wayne added singles wins, and Wayne combined with Joel Luckenbaugh for an 8-0 No. 2 doubles win.
The Colonials won just four matches last season and returned just two starters. They have been greatly helped by the rapid development of Gruver, who is playing No. 2 as a freshman. He started the year losing to New Oxford's No. 6 player in three sets.
"At first, he was kind of timid, not wanting to beat the upperclassmen," Martin said. "He then
"He does a lot of young things still, silly mistakes, but each day he's getting better and better. He's growing up as a player. That's the future right there."
Along with the change in attitude, Martin believes players are working hard in practice. They challenge -- which is when one player challenges another to a match in order to move up in ranking -- each other more often.
The winning, he said, has brought people from the community, people Martin has never met, to practices and matches to congratulate them on their strong play.
"It's nice to see them so positive," he said. "We're part of a winning program at New Oxford. They're not used to that."
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