Lady Saints hope to turn season around at regionals
By Carla Tagarelli
Photo by Glenn Judah
PHOTO CAPTION: Freshman Sandy Maric has had to step into a higher spot than originally expected this season.
The Lady Saints tennis team continues to fight through a grueling season on their way to the regional tournament.
With an overall record of 4-7 the team is hoping they can do enough down the stretch to get to nationals. The team has had to compensate for the absence of their top two players for parts of the season.
“This season has been disjointed,” stated coach Walter Shinn.
Charlotte Sikora, the team’s No. 1 player has had to overcome a shoulder injury the entire spring season. “She is just now starting to play and the way she is hitting is good,” Shinn said. Viviana Rojas, the team’s No. 2 player has endured eligibility issues for part of the season.
In response to these issues, the girls on the team have been forced to play at higher spots. This change has proven to be a struggle for the team throughout the season. “We haven’t been able to play at our strength,” Shinn said.
The Lady Saints had a tough month of March, losing all but one of their matches. On March 15 they fell 8-1 to NCAA Div. I Eastern Kentucky. Five days later the team lost again, this time to conference rival, Savannah College of Art and Design 5-1.
“If all these distractions didn’t happen we would be four or five in the nation,” Shinn said.
The Lady Saints entered April ranked No. 16 in the NAIA. They started out the month strong with a 9-0 victory over St. Thomas on April 8.
The NAIA Region XIV Tournament is April 21 and 22 at Embry-Riddle. The Lady Saints must make it to the finals to move on to nationals.
“If we have our full squad we will be in the top six teams,” Shinn said. “I think we will do well.”