Men’s and Women’s Tennis Competitions
Author: The Crusader Staff Writer, Colin Sadtler
The women’s and men’s tennis teams at the Abbey started nine years ago. The teams have recently become more successful, with the men winning a conference Carolina championship last year. Coach Mike led them to a 22-17 overall record, including 10-0 in conference play. In the conference finals, they played Mount Olive for the deciding match with a thrilling win by Andy G to win it! Coach Mike has created a very successful program by figuring out how to improve the team’s effort, culture, and love for the sport. One of his most significant things is ensuring everyone is accountable for their attitude and action. He is an excellent example of how all programs should run their team.
I asked a couple of returning players who were a part of the team that won conference Carolinas last year what they thought about coming into this year’s first competition. Nicholas Carry said, “I am excited about the tournament but also hoping we can keep the same effort, attitude, and team bond we had last year.” I also asked Coach Mike what he thought about it, and he said, “I love the team’s excitement, but it’s all about being able to carry everything we learned last year to make us better this year.” Last year’s team proved to the Abbey fans and the conference that Coach Mike knows how to run a program correctly.
The teams held a tournament at our tennis courts on Oct. 14 and 15. The top 6 players and all the freshmen played. The freshman are playing to get match experience and their first college tournament out of the way. I also talked to one of the freshmen, Peyton Williams, who said, “We have all been preparing for this tournament, so we know at the end of the day we have put in the work.” All the freshmen seem excited to play but nervous since it’s their first college match experience.
Coach Mike has laid out all the guidelines to be successful for the first-year students in their first tournament, so hopefully, they will use the information and apply it. I asked Preston Johnson what the most significant piece of advice the coach has given him for this weekend was, and he said, “Coach told me to always fight for every point no matter what the score is, even if I’m losing 0-6,0-5. He told me that everyone’s first tournament is hard, but either way enjoys it.”
This article was originally posted in the Fall 2022, Issue 1 of The Crusader Newspaper. Download the full issue.