Women's teenis faces tough competition over break

By Lukas Bachmann - Super Phan

The Thunderbirds tennis season is well underway. With only five conference games left, the T-Birds currently sit in third place with a record of 2-1 led by team captain, Sophomore Celeste Andreotti. 

Head Coach Laura Rosa said she doesn't like her team to focus on the numbers too much.

"The record is only that, a record," she said. "It does not reflect that we have taken on much tougher competition than anyone else in the conference, nor does it reflect how close we were in the losses we did have." 

"We are exactly where we need to be to make a strong push for the Championship title. The team is getting better and more confident every match."

The Thunderbirds have taken on some stiff competition this season, playing against multiple four-year schools, and putting up quite a fight all along the way. 

Rosa said that experience is invaluable. 

"The T Birds know they can compete with anybody. We are so much more match ready this year as compared to last. We don't fear losing and we are learning how to win," she said.

Despite close losses to four-year schools this season, Rosa said that they were not heartbreakers in any sense of the word. 

"It wasn't a heartbreaker, that would imply somehow that we thought a win was nearly unachievable. It is my firm belief that this team can compete with and beat any of our local NCAA D3 teams," she said.

The Thunderbirds just got back from a trip to the Golden State, where they went 2-2 against four southern resident schools with wins against Santa Rosa Junior College and Solano College.

With the championship right around the corner, Rosa said she is keeping her team focused on getting better every day.

"We are focused on one match at a time and hitting the goals we set individually for players as well as for the team as a whole," she said. " There is still a lot of season to play and it is our intention to always step on the court better than we were the day before." 

Rosa says her team needs to work on a few things to be prepared for the championship mid-May. 

"We are focused on attacking points," she said. "Our lineup is still evolving so the perfect doubles combinations are still a bit elusive." 

"We need to find partnerships that balance in doubles, steadiness versus attack, intensity versus court composure.  The great thing about this team is that from the top of the lineup to the bottom they trust each other and are loyal to the team goals above their own individual ones," she said.

Rosa said she expects tough competition at the championships.

"Spokane is much improved since last year, they will certainly be in the hunt at the end of the season," she said. "Bellevue is always tricky; we never know what to expect with their lineups. We are focused on one match at a time."

The Thunderbirds have five conference games left this season before the championships. They play against fourth seed Treasure Valley, Friday, April 13 at 8:30 p.m. at the Boeing Employee Tennis Court.

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