The Brandeis women’s tennis team kicked off its spring season this past Monday, Jan. 19. The team has put in hours of training over the off-season to get ready for their first game Feb. 7 at Bryant University.
“The team trained by practicing multiple times a week and working out both on our own and with our athletic trainer, Jason Byrne,” captain Carley Cooke ’15 said.
With only two weeks until the first game of the season, Cooke is excited about her team’s potential. “This year’s team looks very different than last year’s because we graduated four seniors. But we filled the spots with four new freshmen who are all very talented and hard-working, so we’re looking forward to a great season.”
The team looks forward to a rigorous season. “Our greatest challenges are maintaining a rigorous practice schedule amidst playing lots of matches … and managing our school work,” Cooke said.
The women’s tennis team strives to finish in the top four of the UAA conference and make it to the NCAA championship. However, the team will first have to get past some very tough competition, including Middlebury and Amherst.
The men’s team begins its season next Monday, Jan. 26, a week after the women’s team begins. However, the staggered season hasn’t stopped the men’s team from keeping in shape this past offseason. “For the first few weeks … we worked with [the trainer] to build our leg strength, running and lifting, instead of touching a racquet,” captain Alec Siegel ’15 said.
The results should be positive, with returners and rookies alike coming together to rack up some wins. “[The] team looks great this year. We have some new guys that will definitely contribute in a positive way this season, and all of the guys from our starting lineup last year are back, a year more mature, stronger physically, mentally and emotionally,” Siegel said.
Siegel is enthusiastic for a competitive season, where the team’s biggest downfall is its passion for the game. “Our greatest challenge is also our biggest strength: our ability to compete, get amped up, and remain calm throughout an entire match. These things can be a double edged sword … [because] we sometimes let our emotions get the best of us and forget about tactics.”
The team hopes to earn a top seed in the UAA tournament and go to the NCAA tournament. The Brandeis men’s tennis team starts their battle to finish top in the region and country on Feb. 17 with their first match at Chapman University.