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Tennis Courts get revamped

By Lily Wageman

Section: Sports

January 22, 2016

The Brandeis athletic facilities have installed a new upgrade that will benefit tennis players in their upcoming season. The indoor tennis courts in Gosman were painted with a true tennis surface called MontoTen, replacing the previous Mondo (rubber surface). In appearance, it would be pretty easy to miss any differences, as the same color scheme was used, but the surface is distinctly different. The improvement offers more realistic courts after years of wear, causing the older courts to lose grit on the surface and making the balls bounce too fast. Now, the courts are similar to the speed of outdoor tennis courts. The players also hope that this new upgrade will be an incentive for more fans to come watch matches. Accordingto women’s tennis team member and Brandeis Hoot editor Charlotte Aaron ’18, “We got new indoor tennis courts this year, so hopefully students will come support us on our home courts this season! We really are a pretty fun group considering tennis isn’t always the most rowdy sport!”

Head coach Ben Lamanna commented, “The [new] courts are incredible; it’s literally a dream come true for the coaches and players! With the correct speed of our courts, we can now practice with similar conditions to our matches, and I feel that we can maximize our player development potential through the winter months. Life is good!”

A graduate of Bates College in 2002, Lamanna enters his 11th season with the Judges. While in college, Lamanna was part of a Division III tennis program that made three NCAA tournaments, from his sophomore to senior year. “I was the guy that improved through being around great coaching and competitive teammates. I was also motivated to be a gamer and help get the team to new heights,” says Lamanna. During his tenure at Brandeis, the men’s team has continually improved while facing many of the top Division III teams in the country along with Division I teams. In 2012, the women attained their highest-ever national ranking at No. 19.

Lamanna was inspired to go into coaching early on, starting when he was 16 and continuing ever since. He considers college coaching a great experience that allows him a stretch of activities including mentoring, coaching tennis and recruiting. He describes his love as “working with student-athletes who are on a mission to get better, and I really enjoy building a positive team culture every year.” When asked about his inspirations, Lamanna replies that he looks for inspiration everywhere—his friends, co-workers, current student-athletes and other coaches. More specifically he says that he is inspired by “older guys who continue to be at the top of the game,” such as Roger Federer, Tom Brady and Andre Agassi, and he continues to be inspired by his old college coaches and professional coaches like Bill Belichick, “all legends of the game.” Lamanna describes his own coaching style as task-focused, process-oriented and coaching within a growth mindset. He lives and coaches by a binary system, “not taking things personally, constantly working hard to improve and being impeccable with my word.” He further adds, “I also love to laugh and make my players laugh; it keeps me young … well, young-ish.”

Lamanna’s goals this season for the tennis team are to have a positive and competitive attitude, as well as to see individual improvement with his players on and off the courts. Lamanna believes “that hopefully focusing on this process and supporting our players will lead Brandeis Tennis to new heights,” with the end goal being an improvement in national rankings to qualify for the NCAA’s. Finally, Lamanna offers this advice to any student or athlete: “To be honest with themselves, humble in their deeds and fearless in their pursuits.”

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