Agustina Diaz (back) and Nina Pigeassou (front) during their tennis practice. Photo by Hannah Robinson.

     The semester is officially in full swing for the ABAC tennis team as they took on their first matches of the season at Middle Georgia State University (MGSU), Georgia Southern University (GSU) and Troy University. While not all the matches were wins for the team, the players still feel strongly about what the season holds.

     The Fillies played at MGSU in Macon on Feb. 10 and ended the match with a fantastic 9-0 win. While their 7-0 loss at GSU on Feb. 16 could have put a damper on things, the Fillies still celebrated their win and the lessons they learned over the matches.

     The Stallions also took on MGSU but ended the match with an 8-1 loss. They took on Troy University on Feb. 15 and took another loss of 5-0. Juan Pino Contoleon, a sophomore on the team, took two defeats and said, “I didn’t feel like I wanted to keep playing. But with the help of the coach, I know I can improve.”

Nick Rosatti, who works with the team as an assistant coach after playing with them for two years, felt optimistic.

     “This weekend was many of our players’ first exposer to the competitive atmosphere of Division I tennis. Overall, I was proud of the confidence displayed.” He said that the players remained flexible and coachable even through some particularly tough matchups. “As a result, we went to some third sets and put up more of a fight than our opponent might have expected.”

     These matches have helped the team set goals to pursue throughout the semester. Some are small, like giving their all, even in practices. Other goals mean pursuing the chance to go to the national tournament in Arizona in May.

     In terms of growth for the team, Rosatti said, “We could have demonstrated more intensity and presence of mind during really important points.” He adds that “Our team learned the value of evaluating certain scenarios. In other words, there are some points where you simply cannot lose the point.”

     He is hoping that the team will work on their focus on the court, and understand that “A single point can be the turning point, especially for the momentum, in a match.”

     The tennis team will move forward with a match against Georgia Southwestern on Feb. 27, at 2:00 p.m. at the Red Hill Athletic Center on the ABAC campus.

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