Battling through the Texas heat, the men’s and women’s tennis teams wrapped up their seasons with fifth-place finishes in the SCAC. “We were able to pull it together and work together to finish our season strong,” said Tess Rubin ’21. “We’re happy with our season and our hard work.”

This year was a building year for both teams as they graduated several outstanding seniors last year. According to captain Simone Hall ’19, “everyone had to play up and across the board it was great to see the team rise to the occasion from one to six.”

Luckily, the team recruited several first-years who have had outstanding performances. “We got two new freshmen this year and they both made their way into the top six which was really impressive. One of our freshmen ended up playing three singles for us, which is a huge role to take on your first year,” said Noah Forman ’20.

That first-year, Jacob Adas, collected two wins to help the Tigers secure the No. 5 place, with wins in the No. 2 doubles and No. 3 singles. Forman was once again a key contributor, and dominated his top-ranked doubles and singles matches.

The teams’ hard work paid off with several huge wins this season. “We had some big wins this season. We beat Colorado Mesa and they’re a Division II school, we beat Grinnell and they were supposed to beat us pretty badly,” said Forman.

“We didn’t have the easiest season playing a lot of tough teams in all divisions. My favorite thing about the tennis team is the dedication from the players and our positive attitude,” Hall added.

Hall fell in her No. 1 doubles spot, but came through as the No 3. singles match against Texas Lutheran University, as the tigers locked down the fifth spot in the conference. Also key for the Tigers was Rubin, who won her No. 2 doubles and No. 1 singles matches.

Although they had some breakthrough performances, Forman admitted they needed to work on their mental game. “In most of the matches we go into we are underdogs, and that has a psychological impact because we’re expecting to lose,” Forman said. “One of the goals for this season and next is to go into matches with more confidence. There’s a huge mental aspect and a lot of strategy.”

Rubin shared the sentiment. “The mental game is so hard especially when you’re out there alone” she said. “It takes a lot of focus and positive self talk to do well in a match.”

There’s no doubt the team is in good hands, going forward with such young talent.

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