Written by Devin Garner.
Coming off a rocky 2019 campaign, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) men’s and women’s tennis teams are looking to build off of last season’s performance. As of Friday, March 6, the men’s team is 1-1 in the spring season while the women’s team is 0-2. The Seahawks are led by head coach, Greg Shedd.
The men’s squad is welcoming aboard two freshmen while the women’s team is welcoming three new freshmen. When talking to Sam Sheats (‘22) about his goal for the Men’s team this season, he stated, “The men’s team is looking to improve our record from last year and put forth some good performances and see how we progress as a unit.” Sheats continued, “We ended the season in good form so we want to continue that into this season, much like we did in the fall this year.”
Hallie Hershey (‘22) had similar remarks when talking about the goal of the Women’s team this season as she states, “With three new freshman faces on the team, we hope to bolster the lower lineup, all spots competing at a high level and obviously hoping to get more wins.” She went on to say, “Building off from last year, we are just hoping to hone in and refine on the skills we have been working on. It was important for us to create a better team mentality and mindset for winning because last year we struggled with numbers and having a good chance to win.”
While the team has high aspirations for the season, both Sheats and Hershey have their own personal goals for success as well. After coming off of an injury, Sheats states his goal by saying “I want to just get match tough again and battle and help the team win matches. Over 6 months without a competitive match for me due to injury made me hungry to compete again.” Hershey stated that her personal goal for the season is to “work on [her] doubles skills. Being partnered with my cousin Alden Grosh is new and exciting, so I am hoping to not weigh the team down.”
Though the spring season is still young and there are many matches to still be played, both Sheats and Hershey already have great memories from the season thus far. Sheats stated that his best memory from the season is the men’s team’s victory over the University of Lynchburg. Sheats remarked, “The best memory so far this season has been beating Lynchburg, sweeping doubles, and avenging our 7-2 loss last year with a 7-2 win this year.”
Hershey’s best memory this season has been off the court. She stated, “My personal favorite moment, was the first match bus ride. Traveling with the team always fosters good bonding and fun with the team. Even if they do not entirely vibe with my ‘Frozen’ soundtrack hype music.”
While the team is continuing to develop, they are led by Greg Shedd. According to SMCMathletics, Shedd has been the head coach at Chopticon high school, the Chelsea Academy and SMCM. He brings in years of experience and will be sure to have the Seahawks prepared for the season. Both Sheats and Hershey showed their confidence in the coaching staff. Sheats asserted, “The coaching staff has been a tremendous help to all of us. Coach Shedd, Coach Jake, the athletic trainers help us so much with match preparation and recovery, putting us in position to succeed. We just have to deliver.” Similarly, Hershey remarked, “The coaching staff is extremely important because they not only create a stronger commitment and passion to the sport, but also a powerful team bond. Greg Shedd supports a light hearted but hard working mentality, which I believe the whole team appreciates.”
The team returns home on Friday, April 3 to face off against York College with the contest beginning at 3:30 p.m.. Make sure to go out and support the Seahawks as they embark into another season.