March 29, 2020

Women’s tennis looks to build on fall success despite challenges

Women’s tennis finished the fall season with a 3-2 record, and is looking to build on that success this spring.

“The fall season went really well,” Head Coach Lynn Winters said. During the spring, they will face off against their Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) opponents.

Winters and her athletes have put in work over the winter gap and are optimistic about their spring season.

“As a team, I think we know our strengths and weaknesses now,” sophomore Madison Watt said. “… That’s what we continued to work on over winter and that’s what we are going to put into action going into spring.”

Watt, who has played tennis during both of her two years at Capital, played first singles throughout the entire fall and ended with an 8-7 record. She and Maria Sadek, also a sophomore, were Capital’s first doubles pairing, and ended the fall season with a 6-10 record.

Madison Watt and teammates worked on weaknesses to come back strong this season.

Sadek feels she knows what the team can improve upon during their spring season, and said that being able to shut down opponents quicker would lead to more wins.

“Just closing out those game points … is really important,” Sadek said of the importance of finishing matches.

Sadek plays second singles and played an integral part in winning the fall season finale against Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

One of the largest challenges facing the team as they near the spring is the fact that the tennis courts on Capital’s campus have been ruled unsafe to practice on. The team held their fall home matches at Wolfe Park in Bexley, as well as a good deal of their practices. They will be practicing at Olympic Indoor Tennis Club beginning in the spring.

Another twist in the fall season was the dissolution of the men’s tennis program at Capital. According to Winters, there were too many graduating seniors the previous year and their exit did not leave the school with enough athletes to field a viable team. However sudden this development was, Winters said that she and her athletes were not fazed.

Challenges will also manifest in the form of other teams. As Capital begins conference play, the competition only gets tougher. The team finished sixth in the OAC to close out the fall season, and is looking to improve on that mark. Winters, Watt, and Sadek were all very clear that Otterbein University, John Carroll University, and Ohio Northern University were the teams to beat.

“We’re looking to be competitive … to move our way up,” Winters said of the team’s conference placement. “But it’s good. It’s a strong, strong league.”

Behind Watt, Sadek, and a squad of other young players, women’s tennis will open their spring season this Saturday, Feb. 16 against Concordia University out of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Tennis is very mental,” Sadek said. “… Even at the toughest points … you [have to] stay strong and … play every point like it’s the beginning of the game.”

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