Serving up aces: Women’s tennis defeat OLLU

In first home matches of the season, Tigers take out Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) Saints 5-0


Andrew Duong

Sophomore Trinity Hatchett serving in warm-up.

The Trinity women’s tennis team started off their spring season strong with a solid performance against the Our Lady of the Lake (OLLU) Saints. After from their road trip to Abilene the weekend of Jan. 28 with an 8-1 win against Hardin-Simmons and 7-0 loss to Abilene Christian, the team was excited for their first home win of the season. Head coach Drew Cohn praised the team for winning against a tough opponent in the OLLU Saints in sub-par conditions.

“I thought we did a great job handling the tricky conditions this week. It’s been pretty wet and cold all week long along with us not having a lot of court time. But they did a great job of getting the win early and not looking back,” Cohn said.

Cohn’s sentiment was shared by player Olivia Kim, sophomore psychology major, who had a similar view on her and her team’s performance during the game.

“As a [doubles] team, we went out there and played with confidence. Doubles was a bit shaky, but going into singles we all played with confidence and striked the ball really clean which was shown in our score,” Kim said.

While many players expressed a similarly positive outlook on their game, each player also identified several instances during the game that they wanted to improve on. The doubles team of Cate Cushing, junior mathematical finance major, and Trinity Levy, first-year business administration major, discussed ways in which they could continue to elevate their game, even with their 8-3 victory against their OLLU opponents.

“I felt good at the net in doubles, though I feel like a lot of the points we lose are when I’m at the baseline, so [I need to] just stay focused and keep hitting the ball crosscourt until the other player can’t return it,” Cushing said.

Levy followed up with her own list of self-critiques, including her tendency to specialize solely at the back of the court instead of being more aggressive at the net.

“I’m more confident at the baseline, and I would like to be more aggressive at the net. I [need to] look to come into the net more and put the point away,” Levy said.

Kim also spoke about improvements she wanted to make in her game after her performance in her doubles match with teammate Ruth Hill, sophomore engineering major, which ended in an 8-5 victory.

“In doubles, I want to work on poaching,” said Kim, referring to a tactic in which a front-court player moves across the court to intercept an opponent’s volley. “I was a little nervous and a little tight at the beginning of the match as I was trying to get into a rhythm.”

An eye for improvement is not shared just among the players but the coaching staff as well, who stated their anticipation to improve not only themselves but also to improve the squad. Assistant coach Annie Wise expressed a sense of excitement regarding the team’s future prospects.

“The cool part about it is that our girls are hungry. It’s fun to kind of let them pick a part, which is cool, especially on doubles,” Wise said. “And it’s really cool to see the girls step up to leadership positions since we don’t have any seniors.”

Cohn believes that the team’s potential is heightened with a younger squad. He emphasized not only the success of the previous year, where the Trinity Tigers finished 14-9 overall while placing second behind Southwestern University in the SCAC regular season and fifth at the NCAA in their region, but also the challenge of the coming season.

“I think that’s one of the most exciting things about this. Last year we were young and we had a pretty successful season. I think we’re going to be battle-tested this year with our schedule looking good, and I think every time we get out there, we become more confident as players,” Levy said.

The goals for the players mirror that of the coaching staff as well. Several players expressed excitement for the upcoming season as well as the games ahead. Cushing explained the general goal of the players is to finish at the top of the regular season.

“I think our goal is just to win every DIII match and be undefeated in DIII. I think we can do it at line two, I think we can do it in singles and I know we will be playing against some of the top-ranked teams in the nation, but I think we’re capable of upsetting some people,” Cushing said.

With the rest of the season laid out in front of them, the Trinity women’s tennis team readies themselves for upcoming challenges, as the team prepares for their next home game against Concordia at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12.