The SUNY Plattsburgh women’s tennis team topped Northern Vermont University-Johnson, 9-0, and lost against the SUNYAC defending champion, SUNY New Paltz, with the score of 9-0 this past week.
Going against SUNY New Paltz, a SUNYAC schedule opener for both teams, was a tough but good start for the Cardinals. For second doubles, senior Sierra Barrett and freshman Cydney Bond managed to take two games from their opponents. Junior Rukshana Abdeen had the best showing among singles with a total of five wins in two sets.
“We lose, but I think it was like, everyone felt better about themselves after the New Paltz game than [the] win with Castleton ‘cause I think we fought harder,” Abdeen said.
In the match with New Paltz, sophomore Sarah Hoeffner lost, 6-1 and then went scoreless 6-0, for singles and then lost 8-0 for doubles alongside her partner, Abdeen.
Hoeffner said the match was tough and the coaches are not focusing on the results but rather focusing more on how each player on the team can improve their game.
Co-head coach Chris Waterbury said while the team is still sorting out the doubles’ combination, everyone is still coming together. He also said the team works hard and puts its best foot forward.
For the match with Johnson, Cardinals won all of their doubles matches without dropping any games, increasing the Cards’ record to 2-2 overall so far in the early season..
Freshman Bri Miller earned her first collegiate win in both singles 6-1 and 6-2, as well as in doubles 8-0 with her partner, fellow freshman Aleana Leandry. Junior Kelly Gloo also earned her first collegiate win in singles with the score of 6-0 and 6-1.
With the team still sorting out the team combination, Hoeffner said it is fun to mix up the team and have different people in different positions. She said that working with different people of different skills makes her able to rely on her partner, or at times, access what her partner’s strength is and how she can complement that.
With Abdeen injured during practice last Friday, she still went and played in the match going against New Paltz after consulting with her trainer. However, after the first set for singles, she felt pain in her abdomen but still managed to finish the match.
The coaches decided to let Abdeen sit out for the match against Johnson. She also said that she will be resting up for the week to prepare for the following week.
“I don’t think I made [my injury] worse, so if I rest this week, I’m still going to practice and go to the trainer every day,” Abdeen said, “so hopefully it will be ok by next week.”
The team is confident about the match with Northern Vermont University-Lyndon. Hoeffner and Abdeen believe Lyndon was a weaker team when they competed last season, so they will be performing well for the match.
Hoeffner said for this match they have the opportunity to let girls that don’t usually have a chance to play to do so when going up against Lyndon. Hoeffner also said the coaches are fair about giving chances for everyone to play as no one wants to sit the whole season out.
With the team having some non-conference matches under its belt, the Cards will be moving toward their SUNYAC schedule in the coming weeks.
Waterbury said the team’s doubles strategies still need some work and more consistency in singles. He believes that the team can be better and he thinks that the team has an excellent attitude.
Abdeen also said that with Waterbury co-coaching the team, they have good dynamics working with each other, and the team appreciates the advice and feedback from Waterbury. Hoeffner said the coaches are coaching them to be the best that they can be and are always encouraging and positive.
“We are going to see some tougher opponents down the stretch,” Waterbury said. “It’s a little bit of a journey, it’s not where we are now, but where we are trying to get to.”