By Callie Lowery
Most teams dream of being ranked nationally. But for the ladies tennis team, it’s a reality. The ladies rank sixth in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll upon finishing their fall season. Even though the ladies only had three tournaments in the fall, as a warm up for the spring season.
“We did very well in all events during the fall,” Coach Patrick Catullo said. “We had a good mix of the upper-class and freshmen which leads to forecast a very good spring season.”
Although the spring season is a month and a half away, the team took the opportunity during the fall to improve their game including controlling different points, knowing when to come to the net and when to take a risk. The fall season also helped the coaches to take a look at different line ups to se what fits best and to find out the teams strengths and weaknesses.
“The difference in the two seasons is that the spring is longer and definitely more intense,” Catullo said. “It’s nice to have the fall because we set up double teams and we get a chance to look at the personnel and see what we can play around with.”
Besides preparing during the fall, the girls take initiative on their own to work during the offseason. The girls work on making sure they stay physically fit by swimming laps in the pool, running or practicing against each other. When the spring season starts at the end of January the coaches fine tune their conditioning to make sure they are prepared for the season ahead.
“The girls do a fantastic job of keeping up during the off season so when spring starts we run through some basic training for the body,” Catullo said. “We just condition where it needs to be and then jump right into working back up where we left off from the fall.”
This fall the team accomplished more than usual during the season. Most times the double teams are decided in the spring but this year, the doubles teams were made in the fall.
“I’m very happy with doubles and all the way through the line up,” Catullo said. “The level of comfort with the double teams are in a very good spot and that’s very important for the spring season.”
With the biggest class of freshman in quite some time, the coaches and upperclassmen are making sure they know this is a team effort. From high school the girls are used to the individual aspect but now it’s about the team as a whole.
“Here we don’t have premier players, everyone is treated the same,” Catullo said. “We’re always cheering on and off the court for the team and for the girls. Our number one focus is supporting The team.”
For the freshmen it may seem to be a hard transition but with the upperclassmen’s help it sure to get easier. There was a smooth transition for bonding between the mixtures of classes.
“We’ve got some good matches ahead and I’m ready to see the girls play to their best ability,” Catullo said. “In the past seasons, we have come closer and closer to the national championship and this year that’s our goal. We definitely have the ability to go that far. I’m looking forward to the season and being as successful as we can be.”