Tennis team suffers first loss

By John Armstrong – [email protected] – Contributor | March 4, 2015 |
Going into the match against Liberty University undefeated, the UNC Asheville Women’s tennis
team suffered its first loss of the season.
“We haven’t beaten Liberty since I have been here so of course there is this natural tendency to give them too much credit, but this season we have proven to ourselves so far that we are more than capable of beating any team we compete against,” said Christine Boissevain, senior.
Despite knowing that Liberty is a great team, Boissevain said she was confident in her team’s talent.
“Our team has put in a lot of extra effort on and off the court so I was confident in our ability to perform well against Liberty,” Boissevain said.
The Bulldogs had a rough start losing all three of their doubles matches, which proved to be a challenge.
“We haven’t lost a doubles point yet, so it was a challenge for us being behind from the start,” said Amalie Davidsen, freshman.
In doubles, junior Ericka Rivero and senior Emily McNall played a close 8-6 match but fell to Liberty’s Brittany Yang and Maria Khval. Davidsen said that during the break, Lise Gregory, coach, said to expect good things to happen and to be ready for anything that may come their way.
In her singles match, Boissevain lost in two sets, but put up a good fight in the second, losing 6-3 to Yang.
“There is no sense in having expectations going in to the match outside of what you can control,” Boissevain said.
In the other singles matches, Rivero lost both her sets 6-3 against Belen Rivera. Amryn Soldier, senior, lost both her sets 6-2. Davidsen fought hard against Evangeline Crist but lost both sets 6-4.
McNall lost a hard-fought tie breaker in the first set, then dropped the second set 6-1 to Liberty’s Mariely Hassey. Hunter Hall, sophomore, also lost both her sets 6-4 and 6-1.
Boissevain said that the only thing that really holds the team back as tennis players is the mentality.
“If we didn’t perform to our best ability I would say that most likely it was because we have allowed our fears to limit us. Fear of losing, fear of Liberty’s ability, fear of what others might think. This of course is a constant struggle in all matches, some more than others,” Boissevain said.
Davidsen said some of the team members had slow starts and that they need to play better in the earlier stages of the matches.
“We had to focus on our own court and our own match,” Davidsen said.
Davidsen saw the match as a good opening challenge for the team, so that they now know
how to handle it when they play a better team.
“We all have individual parts of our games that need to be worked on, but if anything we just need to keep expecting good things to happen,” Boissevain said.
Corey Lea, junior spectator, said he had never been to a tennis match on campus and decided to see what they were like.
“It really intrigued me that even when they were losing their match, they would say ‘Go dogs,’ and they would all respond,” Lea said. “It showed how much they support each other as a team.”
Lea said it was great being able to sit right there next to the tennis court at the Asheville Racquet Club and watch the matches take place.
“In high school when I went to tennis matches, there would always be benches on the outside of the fence where we would have to watch the matches,” Lea said.
Davidsen said that there were many fans in attendance at the match, which helps motivate the team to play better.
“It was nice to see a lot of people there and when you see people there, you know you’re doing this for your school,” Davidsen said.
Looking ahead, Boissevain said she is looking forward to bouncing back from this loss and competing with the team again.
“We all have individual parts of our games that need to be worked on, but if anything we just need to keep expecting good things to happen,” Boissevain said.
The women’s tennis team will be back in action this Saturday and take on Appalachian State University at Asheville Racquet Club.