Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams are off to strong starts this season with the women’s team on a 5-win streak and the men’s team on a 3-win streak. Men’s tennis has a 9-3 record and women’s tennis is 6-2. The teams’ first conference game against Stevenson University on Saturday was postponed because of inclement weather.
The men’s team swept three Pennsylvania teams in recent matches on March 14 and 15 against Lincoln University, Gwynedd-Mercy College, and Misericoridia University. A little over halfway through the season, the team has already equaled the total number of wins from last year.
The women’s team has had major wins against Trinity University, Mary Baldwin College, and Virginia Union University. According to Head Coach Derek Sabedra, the team has done very well against the Division II teams they have faced in recent matches.
Throughout the season, the only major problems the team has faced has been weather and scheduling conflicts. Sabedra said, “Weather has been the Achilles heel” for the team for the past 3 years. Without indoor courts, the teams are unable to practice if there is inclement weather, occasionally putting them at a disadvantage if there are upcoming matches.
However, this situation lends itself to improving both teams. Sabedra said it has taught the players to be more adaptive and prepared to play without practice. He also commented on the leadership on the teams, saying “[it] is impeccable.”
The players addressed what they felt the team’s strengths were as well. Sophomore Colleen O’Neill said, “I think that it is great how well we have been performing and I’m excited to see how this boost will influence our competitive spirit when we face even more challenging teams.” She also stressed how much the team has improved and continues to improve over the season.
Junior Kenny Nugent said “The team’s greatest strength is the depth of the line-up. We obviously have some guys that are better than others, but there isn’t a drop off in level of skill through the line-up that you sometimes see in tennis teams.”
During practices, the Seahawks are working on their fundamentals and using more strategy during their matches. Sabedra plans on setting up hypothetical match scenarios to help improve performance.
The Seahawks have seen great improvements in their new players this season. First-years Thomas Hoesman and Robbie Bourdon have been doing very well in singles matches and are undefeated in doubles. For the women’s team, first-year Kathleen Ramsey has a 5-0 match record.
In upcoming weeks, the Seahawks have all of their Capital Athletic Conference games, which were supposed to start on March 28 against Stevenson. The team is looking to continue to improve their performance on the court in order to make it to playoffs. Nugent said, “[T]he playoffs are always exciting, and that is what I am looking forward to the most. All season builds up to the playoffs, and it is where a team can really prove how good they are.”