Men’s tennis works on details in practice to win games

Jessalyn Castro

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Kacper Boborykin, management/finance senior, practices a groundstroke drill during practice on Feb. 16 at the tennis courts. Photo by Rachel Johnson

Kacper Boborykin, management/finance senior, practices a groundstroke drill during practice on Feb. 16 at the tennis courts. Photo by Rachel Johnson

Practice—and making full use of experienced players—is key to everything for the men’s tennis team to make it back to the NCAA II Championship game for a chance at a national title, at which they lost to No. 1 West Florida last season.

“We’ve got several returners from teams that have reached national quarterfinals,” head coach Brady Tigert said.

Tigert said the team has talented young players and their main focus is to learn how to play as a team, as that is what got them to the national quarterfinals last season.

“When you’re on the court you’re an individual, so feeling each other and motivating each other and fighting every point yourself so that other people around you will want to do what you want to really makes a huge difference,” accounting junior Kyle Davidson said. “And that’s what he means by being a team. We’re all with each other even though we’re apart. We play for each other.”

Finance and management senior Kacper Boborykin said it is tougher to play as a team in tennis since it is an individual sport.

“It’s not like soccer where you all play together with 11 players,” Boborykin said. “It’s only you on the court.”

In addition to improving teamwork, Tigert said the players need to take it one game at a time to avoid getting ahead of themselves.

“If you get too far ahead of yourself you struggle in the moment,” he said. “Each day you [work to] get a little better, and continue to get better until you’re best. It’s a part of the process.”

The team will travel to San Antonio to play the University of Incarnate Word Friday at 3 p.m. and are preparing to meet their opponents by practicing these things each day.

“We practice everyday until Friday,” Boborykin said. “We don’t look ahead, we just practice a day and then move on the next day. Of course we look forward to Friday, but we focus on practice everyday.”

Davidson said Tigert is keeping practice to only 90 minutes this week. He said he and his teammates work on playing as a team, tempo and details in practice.

“Details is a huge part. Details is what coach drills into us,” Davidson said. “Details win a match.”

Tigert said each game is critical and its outcome impacts the entire team and its place in any tournament.

“You can lose several points in a match and still win the match [and vice versa],” Tigert said.

Tigert said each move in a game is critical and must be made carefully to win a match.

“You want to play the shot you’re most comfortable with on the big point. Everyone has their favorite shot, so during the big points you want to work the point to where you get that big strike,” Davidson said. “That’s what a lot of the guys excel at. That’s what’s giving us a lot of success.”

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