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Tennis en Route to Best Season Ever

Photo by Casey Budd/The Minaret

For the first time since the 2006-2007 season, the University of Tampa tennis team will finish the year with a winning record.

While having their best season yet, UT’s women’s tennis team (11-3, 2-3) is continuing to improve and progress to get far in conference playoffs.  Currently, the Spartan team is coming off of their fifth straight victory over St. Cloud State University.  Doubles team consisting of Lauren Hewett and Meg Wladimirski took the top spot after their win over St. Cloud.

        “It’s great!” said Hewett on their recent win.  “It is nice to know that all of our hard work is paying off and that we are winning matches, and with big scores like 6-0’s. Everyone is dominating in their singles and doubles.”

        After the 9-0 sweep over St. Cloud, it is safe to say that the Spartans are proud and excited about the season they are having.  Both the team and the players individually are working hard to continue improving.

        “I think the team is doing really good,” said Wladimirski.  “The team is always in sync whether its doubles or singles and that helps all of us to do really well.  All the work we did during preseason is paying off now and we are looking forward to having good playoffs in conference.”

        Coach DuFaux is also quite pleased with the way the season is heading.  Currently the team is ranked No. 15 nationally which is a big jump from being an unranked team in the fall.

“That (the victory over St. Cloud) put us at 11-3 for the season and we are having one of our best seasons ever,” said DuFaux.  “We’re ranked 15th in the nation and our goal for this month (March) is to go undefeated.  We have eight matches and I think we’re 5-0 so far this month so hopefully we will finish out the month with no losses.”

        To keep this season up, the team is staying focused and making sure that they are practicing hard and are staying in shape for the matches ahead.

        “A real key to our success is our doubles so we always try to improve on doubles play,” stated DuFaux.  “If you can win the doubles, you stand a real good chance winning the whole match.”

        The Spartans will take on West Alabama University this Saturday.  In efforts to keep their streak going, the team will keep doing what they know before the match.

        “We are just going through our normal routines,” said Hewett.  “Just having good warm-ups and making sure that we are going over everything that we need to work on so that we are ready for the matches.”

        “The day before a match we always try to have a really good practice,” added Wladimirski.  “We stay focused, get prepared mentally and do our best every minute we are on the court.”

        Even though the team is doing extremely well this season, the players and coach still have goals they would like to accomplish this season.

“One of our conference matches is against Florida Southern,” said DuFaux.  “We are ranked No. 15 and they are ranked No. 17 in the country so it’s a real big win to beat them and get seeded higher than they are in conference playoffs.”

        Hewett and Wladimirski share the same goals as their coach and team, but being a doubles team, they have their own personal goals.

        “We really want to get a national ranking,” said Hewett and Wladimirski.  Currently we are 10th in the region and the rankings come out next month so we’re hoping to move up to fifth or sixth in the region. Hopefully that will be high enough to get a national ranking, which would be an awesome way to end the season.”

        The team’s next match is home, this Saturday March 23 against West Alabama at 2:30 p.m.

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