After a slow 2-4 start, the Saints have won 7 of 8 contests
By Kenny Ray | email@example.com
The Flagler College women’s tennis team has turned their season around, and then some.
Their first three matches were against teams ranked 15th or higher, including Armstrong Atlantic State, who was the top-ranked team. The Saints started just 2-16 in singles play, but have since gone 49-17 on the singles court.
What was it that turned the season around? Head coach Walter Shinn believes it was a trip to Orlando.
“We went to Orlando and played The College of New Jersey. They came out in doubles hitting the ball really hard and I was worried that if they played this way in singles we would have to play our hearts out,” Shinn said.
The Saints did play their hearts out and it resulted in winning five matches.
“Chelsi De Cuba was playing so well until she got sick and had to stop, but it showed our character and we won all five of the other matches. That’s what really turned this season around for me,” Shinn said.
What makes the Saints’ season even more remarkable is that they don’t have any seniors on the team.
There are four women who have won eight of their last 10 matches including Veronica Figueroa, Deon Miller, Jennifer Saviano and Chelsea Taylor. Roxane Alt has been just as good winning seven out of her nine matches.
“I think we are doing great. We started off the season a little rusty because none of us had played an actual competitive match in months,” Saviano said.
“I think their confidence has grown. They work really hard and we just scheduled a very tough first three matches,” Shinn said.
“I feel that if we played them [Armstrong Atlantic, Rollins and Lynn] all tomorrow, with all of the matches we have under our belts, we would beat them,” Saviano said.
The two leading freshmen for the Saints are Figueroa and Saviano who are a combined 18-9 this year. Leading the sophomores are Miller and Taylor with a combined 19-9 record.
Last, but certainly not least, leading are juniors Alt and Cuba with a combined 14-7 record.
As for the rest of the season, “We just recently beat a team that was 14-0, which is an indicator that we can beat anyone. We are going to fight hard for each match and try to finish strong. Be prepared to see W’s on the stats for the rest of the matches,” Saviano said.