Racking up the points with team unity

Santiago Cuevas

The men’s and women’s tennis teams at Augustana have just finished their fall season and are looking forward to their spring season. This season was full of a lot of growth for players on both sides, with some players having higher expectations going into their spring season. 

Sophomore Nicholas Navarro has high winning expectations for himself and the team going into the spring season.

“My team’s expectations are always winning. We want to win against the CCIW conference since last year we lost in the semi-finals. Personally, I just want to win 70% of my matches this season,” Navarro said.

Aside from high team expectations, the team also experienced growth in its number of players. This season the tennis team saw an influx of underclassmen. This excited players in terms of being able to have a stronger team and a more diverse one as well.

“So going into the season, I was really excited because my coach got a lot of recruits for this year,” senior Michaela Magee said. “I had a lot of high hopes of just a really good team environment and competitive play with a lot of the colleges,” Magee said. 

Navarro was also excited by the new recruits since a lot of them were from different parts of the world, making the team more diverse. This is important to Navarro since he is also an international student from Spain.  

“First of all, I’m happy with the new freshmen that came. There were some international students that helped make our team more diverse,” Navarro said.

The new addition of players only helps with the supportive team culture that exists. The team culture is one of the biggest things that have helped players succeed in the game. This is due to the support players receive from one another.  

“We all just genuinely care about each other. We are always asking each other how our days are. And I think that just sets a tone of walking into practice being like ‘okay, I am cared about here.’ I think, if anything, it makes you want to play better. It makes you want to work hard because you care more about your teammates, and you know that you are also cared for,” Magee said.

The relationship the team has extends beyond the court. First-year Hannah Colbert is fond of the relationship that exists between team members outside of practice.

“It’s just like we don’t need to just be on the court to get along. It makes me think that this is where I want to be with this set of girls because we can just be off the court and still be best friends,” Colbert said.

Looking forward to the spring season, players are hopeful to perform better than last season. 

“I think it will just keep improving. No matter where I am on the ladder where I’m playing, I think it’s just to continue to improve and get better. I think that’s just, like, my main goal,” Colbert said.