BY CAROLINE BOLLETINO
Sacred Heart University men’s and women’s tennis teams have officially begun their spring seasons.
On Jan. 27, the men’s team started their season with a match against Boston University, while the women’s tennis team started their season with a match against New Jersey Institute of Technology. Junior Brianne Lauria got a win at the number one position on the women’s side and the men’s senior captain, Bryan Einstoss, at the number six position.
The women’s team then had two matches this past weekend at Army West Point, where they went 1-1. They lost to Army 6-1 on Feb. 1, while defeating Binghamton, 5-2, on Feb. 2.
“The fall season was a step in the right direction for our program,” said graduate student Sabrina Navarro of the women’s team. “By the way we finished out the fall season, I believe our spring season will be very good.”
Head coach William Boe-Wiegaard felt that the fall season helped bring the teams to a new level of awareness of how and why pressure in practice is important.
The fall season consisted of invitational matches, where the teams had the chance to play against schools that they normally would not play against. The spring season will consist of conference matches and the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship will be in April.
“I am really curious to see what will happen in April at the NECs if the teams keep this level of intensity going throughout the spring,” said Boe-Wiegaard. “Since the first practice, I have seen a real commitment from every player on the team in terms of being prepared for practice, being on time, and being ready to give 100 percent effort.”
The teams lost their on-campus courts in the fall to make way for construction of the new Bobby Valentine Athletic Center. For the time being, they will continue their training on courts off-campus. The team travels to indoor facilities in Trumbull, Milford, and sometimes at Yale University.
“We have to work with what we have,” said Einstoss, a senior.
The team has set high expectations for themselves this season and wants to do whatever it takes to meet its goals.
“Our greatest success this season would be to win the NEC Championship, and the toughest challenge is the same thing, winning it,” said Navarro.
Although the teams don’t have the luxury of having a permanent home court, their mentality remains the same for each upcoming match.
Boe-Wiegaard is hoping the players will learn to deal with pressure better as well as find ways to get in the zone quicker and stay longer.
“The other teams in our conference are really good, but I am really confident in my team,” said senior Olivia Podsiebierski of the women’s team.
The men’s team’s next match will be on Feb. 9, as they take on the University of Connecticut. The women’s next match will be a week later on Feb. 16, against Colgate.