Already halfway through their season, the men’s and women’s tennis teams at St. Mary’s have been diligently working in order to fight for some wins. With the men’s team currently sitting on a 6-6 lead and the women’s with a 6-7 record, both teams hope to finish with a winning record.
Throughout the current season, the women’s team has been gradually building more steam as they push through their games with more and more wins. Though they’re currently behind one game, players are confident that with enough preparation, they can get back on top, and are currently 2-1 in conference play.
“So far I think our team is doing pretty well…considering we are a young team and we’ve had some players get sick or been out due to injury,” said junior women’s captain Kathleen Ramsey. “Recently we’ve really picked it up.”
The men’s team has been fighting throughout the season as well to keep up a winning record. The team has won two games with a 9-0 outcome against both Virginia Union University and Wesley College. In conference play, the men’s have a 1-1 record.
Women’s and men’s Head Coach Derek Sabedra believes that what both teams need to work on is adapting to the weather, continuing with the fundamentals of tennis, and supporting one another.
“Because we often play the same opponent at the same time, we take turns cheering each other on,” said Ramsey. Despite the difficulty of finding time to watch games due to practice and match times, both teams greatly support one another.
“Before the Mary Baldwin match held on March 24,” said Sabedra, “five boy players cleared the water off of the courts for three hours so the ladies would not lose valuable class time. The camaraderie is second to none.”
Even with their winning attitudes and desire to add more wins to their seasonal scoreboards, both teams have had to find ways to come together and figure out how to battle against the odds.
The women’s team, which has no seniors rostered for this year, has had to quickly learn how to work together in order to become a stronger team.
Despite the lack of senior experience, Ramsey believes that this hasn’t negatively affected the team at all.
“We have some juniors and sophomores who understand what to expect and are able to answer any of the new players’ or [first-years’] questions,” she said.
The men’s team has also had to regroup after their captain, junior Tom Hoesman, was sidelined after injuring his foot.
The team will likely face some difficulty after losing their top singles and doubles player for the rest of the season, but Hoesman believes that his team can handle it.
“This team is deep enough to still win the same amount of matches and finish the same place in the conference,” he stated. “It’s just going to be tougher and they’re going to have to work a little harder. But they can definitely still have a very strong season.”
Regardless of these setbacks, both teams have a very encouraging coach and two enthusiastic captains helping them along as they continue the last half of their 2010-2011 season.
“We have a really young team, but we’ve come together very quickly,” said Hoesman. “We should be able to turn a lot of heads with how much stronger we’ve gotten this year.”