By Nicholas Troiano
The Sacred Heart University men’s and women’s tennis teams have high expectations for the 2016-17 season.
The teams are determined to not only make it back to the Northeastern Conference (NEC) Tournament, but to win it.
Last season, the men’s team finished with an overall record of 9-14. The women’s team finished their season with a record of 10-10.
Both teams are looking to improve on their overall records from a year ago by working together as a collective unit.
“I feel the team last year wasn’t always on the same page, even though we all wanted to win and compete.
This year, I feel we’re coming together more,” said junior Anthony Santino of the men’s team, co-news editor of The Spectrum.
The key to their team getting through their season is teamwork.
“The team has to do a better job pushing one another to their full potential this season,” said Santino.
The women’s team graduated three seniors last year and are looking forward to what the freshmen can offer.
“For this season, I expect that a lot of our freshmen will get a lot of experience playing at a college level. We have a young team with a lot of talent and I know they will show what amazing players they are as we get further into the season,” said senior Taylor Gurda.
The freshmen will have to learn from experiences on the court, as well from the older players on the team.
“Our team goal is focus on winning big points and
competing well. In order to do this, we need to encourage each other and compete hard in practice,” said junior Tori Oates.
As both teams look forward to the upcoming season, they are excited for the Northeastern Conference play.
“I’m mostly looking forward to our conference matches because they determine our seeding in the conference tournament. They also feel a little more vital to win than any other kind,” said Santino.
Specifically, the women’s team has an opponent circled on their calendar as they head into conference play this season.
“I am most looking forward to the Bryant match because they are always a good team, so we have to bring our best game and a lot of energy,” said Oates.
In order to be as successful as they want to be in conference play, the women’s team has to work hard on wining every one of their matches.
“A major goal is for us to improve our singles game and to realize that even when we are down in a match it’s not over,” said Gurda.
Both teams hope to bring more success to the courts.
“I hope that we can make a breakthrough this season and contend for an NEC title. We have the potential to
accomplish that, and it’ll just take good focus and some good match days,” said Santino.