Men and women’s tennis return for their spring season with challenges for both teams. Coming off of a losing season, the men’s team looks to compete for more power. Coming back from an OVC championship, the women’s team looks to repeat another win after losing a few players to transfer and graduation.
The Racers tennis team looks toward to a fresh start this weekend to open the season.
The Racers had a total of one win and 17 losses in their last season that one win being over Tennessee State in the 2014-2015 season. They look to improve on that performance in 2016.
The men’s tennis team competed at the Louisville Invitational Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in Louisville, Kentucky.
They showed competitive drive in their matches but could not get the win.
Murray State men’s tennis opened up fall play at the 2015 USTA/ITA Regional Championships October 15-19 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
They competed but ultimately fell short in their matches.
The Racers men’s team will return to play Jan. 22 when they take on Lipscomb in Nashville, Tennessee.
Women’s Tennis Head Coach, Jorge Caetano expects big things because of the teams successful season last year and their stackup of talented players.
While other students were able to enjoy some time off and holidays with family, the Racers were making last minute improvements before their season opener on Jan. 29.
“These girls have a lot of passion for the game of tennis so we talked about what they should work on while they are home,” Caetano said. “Coach David Land, strength and conditioning coach, gave them a package with the different workouts they must do every day over the break and they always do a great job in following it and coming back in great shape so we don’t miss a beat in our preparation for OVC.”
Between the hard work and preparation, the team still emphasizes enjoying their sport. Caetano said they or able to have fun in practices while still working hard.
He said it’s more of a journey to continue getting better in order to achieve their goals. He also said the five new girls assimilated quickly.
After returning only half of their team from the previous year one of their keys for success will be adjusting their freshmen early in the season to perform to their potential.
“I think our biggest challenge is the fact that we have a group of four incoming freshmen so we will have to find a way to get in our comfort zone during the matches so they can play to their full potential,” Caetano said.
Six out of the eight players on the team are international students.
Returning from last season’s team is Alina Schibol, junior from Hamburg, Germany; Erin Patton, senior from Memphis, Tennessee; Suzaan Stoltz senior from Brisbane, Australia, and Megan Blue, senior from Mississauga, Ontario.
Combining their hard work and love for the sport, they provide a great experience for the spectator, said Caetano.
“The girls love to compete and they play with a lot of energy and passion,” Caetano said, “Always giving 100 percent on the court so the fans can expect a talented young group of girls who are very focused and determined to win the third consecutive OVC title.”
Although there are some good-looking teams this year, like Eastern Kentucky, Southern Illinois, and UT Martin, Caetano said he is still confident in his team’s ability to perform this season and is preparing to bring home another OVC title.
The Racers will be opening their season against the University of Evansville on Jan. 29 at Kenlake State Park.