SUNY Plattsburgh’s women’s tennis team kicked off its season with a loss to Farmingdale State College, 6-3 in what was the season opener for both teams at the Memorial Tennis Courts.
This season, Plattsburgh State welcomed Karen Waterbury and Chris Waterbury as its new co-head coaches of the tennis team. Chris Waterbury took over the head coaching position at the end of the summer. Karen Waterbury served as an assistant coach for three years.
Karen Waterbury said that she does a lot of the behind the scenes work while Chris Waterbury focuses on matches and coaching practices.
“It’s exciting. I mean, we’ve got some good newcomers who came in and our returners have some experience and have been working hard,” Karen Waterbury said. “So, we have an exciting year for us.”
As the season starts, the team has some new additions, which includes freshman Cydney Bond, Alyana Leandry, Bri Miller and sophomore Megan Blake. In the previous season, Plattsburgh State went 10-5 overall, with six returning to the team.
For the season opener, junior Rukshana Abdeen and sophomore Sarah Hoeffner won their first double of the season with a score of 8-2. Both of them also downed their opponent, at first (6-0,6-2) and sixth (6-4, 6-3) singles respectively.
“I know all the girls. We all hit differently, so some have more time than others to hit, which is fine,” senior Sierra Barrett said. “But during pre-season, it really helps us to get back together cause we do have the double practice each day.”
Karen Waterbury said the team is playing good tennis and getting to know each other, which is important for doubles she said. As for singles, it is important for the athletes who were not able to hit enough over the summer to get comfortable with their strokes again.
To prepare for this season, the team will be working on their skills and tactics for both singles and doubles. Karen Waterbury also said that they try to incorporate fitness into their practices and the team will do some challenge matches to see the rankings of the players. Mental fitness will also be part of training for the team.
“It’s competitive, it’s fun and, you know, it’s probably inclusive from a standpoint of trying to get the most out of your training session.” Karen Waterbury said.
Barrett thinks that for the past week, her performance was a letdown and that she could have done better.
Going against Farmingdale, Barrett lost third singles and second doubles, with the score of (2-6, 0-6) and 1-8 respectively.
The reason for that is because she did not do well in the doubles and she let that get the better of her. She believes that it is something important that the team should look into. Even if it was a rough day, to forget about it and do their best in matches.
Karen Waterbury feels the team showed they were a little inexperienced and intimidated at times, in the match with Farmingdale State College. She thinks it could be because it was the opening match with new players and new positions. She also thinks that some athletes got into their own heads, which affected their performances. She believes that the team needs to be mentally tougher.
“It’s going to be a growing process,” Karen Waterbury said. “We’ve got new kids, we’ve got a new coaching staff and we’ve got kids in positions they haven’t been in before, so they’re going to have to learn and compete.”
Barrett said that with every loss, it is important to look at what you have learned from it. The loss to Farmingdale was a learning opportunity, to see how the team can improve in practices and perform better in the next match.
Karen Waterbury also said the team will have to use their matches as teaching experiences in improving their performances throughout the semester. Barrett believes that the team should always look forward to the next match and not dwell in the past.
“I think as a team, we are going to focus on improving and starting fresher each match,” Barrett said.
SUNY Plattsburgh downed Castleton University 9-0, claiming its first win of the season last Wednesday. This will be the first win of the team after the Waterburys took over as co-coaches.