EMPORIA (KSNT) – Emporia State enters a new era of Hornet tennis with a new women’s tennis coach and men’s tennis coach/director of tennis.

Cyrielle Peyroche was the interim men’s and women’s coach for the 2022-23 spring. Her interim tag was removed in June and she officially became Emporia State’s first women’s tennis coach.

“I’m someone that is very competitive,” Peyroche said. “Not just about tennis, everything about my life. I hate losing, so that’s definitely something about why I like coaching in college, not a country club. That doesn’t really motivate me, but the competition, winning and being there for my players, that’s what drives me.”

Peyroche played at Emporia State from 2018-21 and was a graduate assistant for the 201-22 season. Her competitive spirit has stuck with her from her playing days to her coaching career.

“Getting the chance to grow with her, she’s already improved my game and so many other people on our team’s games so much,” senior Caroline Henry said. “Our team spirit the past two years has gone up so much, and it’s all thanks to CyCy.”

John Blackburn is a fresh face for Emporia State, and is taking over as the men’s head coach and the director of tennis. Blackburn has previous head coaching experience at Methodist University, Eastern Illinois Coker College and Palm Beach Atlantic University. At Methodist, his women’s team went 117-58, 54-4 in conference play and won two conference tournament championships.

Blackburn is excited to work at a university that has a passion and emphasis on tennis, as seen through the Kossover Tennis Center and President Ken Hush’s tennis background.

“We’re going to take advantage of this facility,” Blackburn said. “We’re actually going to run up the electric bill, President Hush, way up high. You’re going to have to pay a big bill over here. We’re going to be in here working so hard to make this a great team.”

Blackburn noted the Hornets’ close losses in the 2022-23 season. He’s determined to turn those into wins in just one season, and his new players are behind that goal.

“We’re here to win championships,” redshirt freshman Harris Kossover said. “We’re here to win matches, and if he can get us closer to that, that’s what we’re looking for.”