Women’s Tennis Starts Strong Despite Lack of Experience
Spring is coming our way, which means the George Fox University women’s tennis team is back to continue the 2013-14 season.
In their first match, the Bruins swept Miles College 9-0 on Feb. 16. The women won three doubles and won four out of six matches in singles.
On Feb. 21 the Bruins eked out a win against Lewis and Clark College in the Northwest Conference Opener, 5-4. Lewis and Clark stole the first two doubles, but the Bruins came back and won No. 3 by sophomores Megan Dahlberg and Ali Diehl defeating Allison Schneirder and Esa Grigsby 8-3. In the singles matches, the Bruins lost the first two, but came back to win four games straight.
The women escaped another close loss versus Pacific University, 5-4, on Feb. 23; this marked their best start in team history with a three-game winning streak. The win came down to the No. 6 singles match by Diehl who won 6-1, 6-1.
“My expectations for the team are that we push each other, but are also leaning on each other, and having fun,” said Diehl. “Tennis is draining not only physically, but also mentally, and I hope we can lean on each other during the hard times and always find something to smile or laugh about.”
On March 1 regionally-ranked Whitman College ended the bruins three-game winning streak in a heart breaking loss, 9-0. The women are currently 3-2 in conference and will play Puget Sound on March 7.
According to Head Coach Rick Cruz this team is young and inexperienced compared to previous years. Senior Alyssa Emoto is the only returner and the Bruins only have four players in the line-up with one year or less experience playing college tennis.
“I am looking forward to challenging myself to play better every match despite having to face some pretty stiff competition at the No. 1 singles position,” said Emto. “This season will be a great opportunity for learning and growth for all of my teammates that they can carry into next year. I am also definitely looking forward to our spring break trip to Orlando. It’s always a great team bonding experience and of course the sunny weather doesn’t hurt either.”
Though they’re young, Cruz hopes to pull some upsets during the season and reach the conference tournament.
“The strength of this team is camaraderie of this group,” said Cruz. “I have a great group that works well with one another and roots each other on. A team that gets along off the court will lead to more success on the court.”