Jacob Margolis – “You play to win the game.” Those are the famous words of former football coach Herm Edwards. So far the Men’s and Women’s Davidson tennis teams have done just that. Both teams have jumped out to hot starts; the men are 7-2 and the women are 5-1. The men and women are also both undefeated in conference play, the perfect topping to a great season so far.
So how do the coaches feel about their teams?
Sara Anundsen O’leary, the women’s head coach, thinks “the season has been going well so far,” and “the team worked extremely hard over the fall and prepared well for a very tough and competitive spring season.” Drew Barrett, the men’s head coach, shares a similar sentiment with his team and thinks “[the team has] had a good start to the season.” He is encouraged and excited because “The team has been working real hard and the guys are pretty focused. [The team has made] consistent improvement each day.”
What has gotten the teams this far? What have been the keys to such successful seasons and how can the teams sustain their success?
Barrett believes that the key to the successful season for his team has been “[the team’s] main focus on improving as individuals and as a team.” When asked what it will take to continue winning he believes that “If [the team is] able to keep focus and not get caught in the hype of a single event, [the team] should be in good shape at the end of the season.” This is critical because “[the team has] to make some significant gains if [the team is] to reach [the] final goal of winning the A-10 championship.”
On the women’s side, Coach Anundsen O’Leary contests that the team’s “chemistry and support of one another has been key and will be important moving forward. Every single person is a valuable member of this team and plays an important role.” She continued to state that in order to stay successful everyone on the team has “to keep pushing each other to get better every day and stay focused on what we can control.”
While the coaches have enjoyed the starts their teams have gotten out to they both know there is still a long way to go. Coach Barrett has high yet simple expectations for the remainder of the season. The goal for the men’s team “is to win the Championship.” This won’t be easy to accomplish though, nothing ever is. When asked what it will take to win the championship Coach Barrett said “We won’t be able to achieve this if we don’t focus on our daily rituals and routines. If we continue to improve as a team everything else should take care of itself.” Coach Anundsen O’Leary sets just as high a bar as her counterpart. She expects “the team to keep learning and growing throughout the rest of the season.” Her “goal is for [each student athlete] to strive towards being the best player, person and teammate they can be. I hope that they continue to enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to play Division I tennis for one of the best schools in the country.”
The Davidson men and women tennis teams have been extremely hot to start the season. Combined the two have a record of 12 wins and just 3 losses. There is a lot of optimism around the teams and there is no reason why the success can’t continue. As long as both teams work hard and continue to grind their way through the season and conference play the early season success will continue. The expectations are high but with the group of student athletes present on both rosters, the coaches rightly have their hopes set high.
The Men’s Tennis Team next faces off against Presbyterian on February 18th while the Women’s team squares off against Elon on Saturday as well.