In just a few days, the ABAC tennis team will begin their time at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament. The Fillies head to Tyler, Texas on May 5, and will be there until May 10, while the Stallions will be playing in Tuscon, Arizona on May 13-17. These weeks of tournaments will be physically and mentally challenging, putting all of the team’s skills to the test.
The tournaments will require the teams to rise early enough to make it to the courts for practice. They plan to work to be the first team to get on the courts to warm up every day. Each group, from No. 1 singles or doubles and so forth, will play at specified times, and the team is already expecting long days.
Nick Rosatti, the assistant coach, explained that “Last year, we had a few 12-hour days in temperatures over 100 degrees. That’s why we really have to be prepared if we want to make a deep run.” The team is working to prepare their bodies to handle the conditions, and Rosatti says that if they are prepared enough, “There is no reason that the team can’t finish the season ranked higher than what they currently are.”
The process of preparing is focusing on hydration and stretching, two things that have slowed the team down over the course of the semester. The team can’t afford to have those issues during a competition that is more physically and mentally demanding than anything they’ve faced yet.
The competition is looking fierce, but as far as what to expect, Rosatti says that things are largely out of the team’s control and not something that can be planned for.
“There is always a chance of drawing a tough first round if you aren’t needed, but that is out of our control now.” Right now, the best thing to do is to, “Focus on ourselves and be ready to grind in the heat.”