• Katie O'Neal | Staff Writer

Senior laden women’s tennis eyes NCAA tournament berth

This season, the GC women’s tennis team is focusing on coming together as a team with hopes of making it to nationals.

The schedule is expected to be tough.

“We’ve been pushing them a lot harder in practice and trying to put a little more stress and pressure on them, so [it’s] not new to them when [they] get to matches,” said coach Steve Barsby.

During practices the team has been focusing on playing more sets instead of drills, and they have been preparing by doing more weights to prevent in season injuries.

“Now it’s just a matter of when we get out on the road and start playing all these matches,” Barsby said. “It all keeps coming together. Because you don’t know until you get out there and play.”

The team is excited for the season this season.

“I think it’s the best group of girls we could have,” said senior Jena Kelly. “Being a senior and realizing the incredible competition that we have for our team, I am going to miss being able to hit with them next year.”

Some goals set for the team are going to regionals and nationals, working really hard together as a team and giving everything during practices and matches.

“A personal goal would be getting an award in conference and keeping up with my studies,” said junior Valeria Lopez

“Our expectations are always to play in the NCAA tournament at the end of the year,” Barsby said. “That’s our goal every year, and then [we] see what happens [because] once you get into the tournament, you always have a chance.”

The team is focusing on strength and endurance throughout the season as well as supporting each other.

“We want to be more vocal on the court with each other, like pumping each other up during matches,” Kelly said.

The team is looking forward to bus rides and growing closer with their teammates, especially during spring break when the team travels to Pensacola.

“Come out and support,” Kelly said.

The next home match will be Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.



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