This past weekend, women’s tennis hosted their first home match against Rider University, where they walked away with a win. They come into this season with a young squad, lacking any seniors.
“We played really well against Rider,” said sophomore Meredith Block. “Last year when we played them, we lost the doubles point but this year we won it which was exciting for us. I think we won more decisively this year which shows our growth.”
The team finished their 2017 season 7-16, and graduated five senior players including standout player Tori Almeida. This season, the team has no returning seniors and only three returning juniors, which creates a new dynamic for them, junior Maddie Olexson said.
“We had a really good structure last year because our seniors had a lot of experience,” Olexson said. “The matchplay was really strong because of it and we definitely pushed ourselves. It’s different to all of a sudden be the oldest member of the team. It’s strange to be one of the mentors on the team helping the freshmen out, but I think they’re really going to step it up.”
Fortunately, the new freshman class brings a variety of talent and optimism to the team. The team agrees that their coach’s improvement in recruiting has contributed to the overall improvement of their team.
“We have two 3-star recruits, which is really good,” Block said. “They’re playing one and two this year, which has made us a lot stronger. I’m looking forward to getting to know the freshmen better and seeing how they do.”
Unlike in previous years, team has already been practicing everyday for multiple hours at a time to prepare for the upcoming season. The women have been conditioning more at practice and continuing to build strength in the weight room.
“[Sophomore] Katie Hill is working with us on goal setting this year,” Block said. We really want to work more to be more consistent as a team and not make any errors. I think that is the main goal for everyone.”
The team is also looking forward to their spring break trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina this season. The team used to attend this trip annually, but this will be the first time in three years that the team goes.
“We want to reemphasize team support and team bond this year,” Olexson said. “I want to make sure we’re all there for each other on and off the court. I think the spring break trip will bring us closer and get us excited for the rest of the season.”