Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams have been beset by hard matches and bad weather this season. At the time of writing, the women’s team is sporting five wins to seven losses while the men have four wins and six losses. By the time this article has gone to print, both the men and women will have, weather permitting, played against Salisbury and Frostburg. The men also have a match against Mary Washington before the finals. Within their conference, the men are 1:2 while the women are 2:2. This means that the each of these remaining matches, all of which are conference matches, will have considerable impact on the outcome of each team’s season.
In identifying this season’s challenges, all three captains and head coach Greg Shedd agreed that the weather has been hugely problematic. Indeed, several matches have been cancelled or rescheduled this season and other matches have been played in near-raining weather. None the less, Shedd looked to the silver lining, saying: “It has been very frustrating and challenging to play in the sub-par conditions; however, as a result it has made us mentally tougher.” Rough weather caused trouble for practices as well as matches. Team captain, senior Andrew Gear, described “practicing in sub 30 degree temperatures” as “never fun.”
Both teams have gained several promising members this season. Team captain, Junior Shannon Ramsey pointed to three young women, Firstyears Lisa Moore, Madeline Darbie, and Mollie Johnson; who she described as “natural athletes [with] a ton of potential.” Johnson has been playing doubles with the other team captain, Junior Lauren Rost. According to Gear, the men have two particularly promising new players. Sophomore Nick Ersoy joined the team and seems o have potential as a developing player. Gear also pointed to Arvind Srinivasan, the only firstyear on the men’s team, as a promising doubles player. Gear said that the efforts of these two players “will greatly help out our young team next year.”
Looking to the rest of the season, the men’s and women’s teams are hoping to get through to, at least, the conference semifinals. Gear expects that the men, if they secure a spot in the semi-finals, will likely face off against York College; the Seahawks greatest rival, by his account. The Seahawks beat York when they met in their conference match, but Gear expects that “ it would be a close match if we see each other again.” With her team 2-2, Rost is focused on the matches leading up to the playoffs; especially the one against Salisbury. Even so, she took the time to say: “I love being part of such a positive atmosphere and am excited to see what the future holds for St. Mary’s tennis.” In addition to continuing to win and succeed on the court, Shedd stated that his “goal, as always, is to be competitive with the elite teams without sacrificing our high standard of academic achievement.”