The Plattsburgh State tennis team started its 2017 season on a high note this past weekend, beating Johnson State 9-0 Saturday, before beating Castleton 6-3 Sunday.
Head coach Annemarie Curle is excited about the start of the season despite having a smaller squad than last year.
“Graduating six seniors really put a dent, but we’ve got a lot of maturity and great leadership prevalent in our lineup that we have right now,” Curle said.
There are seven returners as well as four new athletes on the team this year that will be working together to accomplish their goals for this season.
The team put in a lot of hard work during its preseason and officially opened its 2017 season last Saturday.
“They have to come in with an attitude of confidence right from the get-go,” Curle said before the match. “I’m pretty confident they’ll give it their best effort.”
Senior Katie Kravotil felt confident about their first match and credits her team’s dynamic, even mentioning that the newcomers will give them a leg up on the competition.
“I think we’re really close as a team, whether we’re competing against each other or supporting each other on and off the court,” Kravotil said. “Everyone on the team is awesome and super supportive of each other, and then our coach, she’s great.”
Another player who praises the team’s ability to work well together and keep spirits high, despite the loss of six seniors, is junior Kelci Henn.
“We keep each other motivated,” Henn said. “We all support each other in everything we do. One person messes up we’re all there for eachother, cheering each other on. We’re definitely a tight-knit group.”
Henn also pointed out how they are always working to improve as a team and individually.
“I think there is always room for improvement,” Henn said, “We have a lot to look forward to.”
Curle also agrees that the team is always working to improve is a key point in reaching their goals for this season.
“I think we are climbing and each of the players are improving themselves personally,” Curle said. “That to me is our overall goal.”
The team went 10-4 overall in their 2016 season. This year, they’re hoping to either match or ultimately beat their record from last year.
Curle thinks that goal might not be far from reach, especially with the hard work the team has put in.
“They come to every practice wanting to learn, wanting to get better. Whatever time we have they’re attentive, they’re trying hard, they’re listening and trying to make the adjustments in their game,” Curle said, “Their ability to communicate, not only to each other, but to me, good or bad. Not every team has that and I’m very fortunate.”
The team won Saturday’s match against Johnson State with solid performances by Nadine Ciardulli and Erin Wiggins in their doubles match, winning 8-0. Sierra Barrett swept her singles matches which also helped aid the team in its victory.
Sunday, the women faced Castleton University and won 6-3. Kelci Henn and Ciardulli both won their singles matches. They also won their doubles matches with their partners, Henn with Barrett and Ciardulli with Wiggins.
The team will play today at 3 p.m. against SUNY Oneonta and Saturday at 10 a.m. against SUNY Cortland, both of which are at home.
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