Tennis heads into spring break

Off two straight losses, both tennis teams maintain positive energy and look to correct their mistakes

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The tennis team bringing their hands in // Courtesy of the Muhlenberg Athletics Department

In their final outing prior to the spring break, on Mar. 1 and 2 respectively, both the women’s and men’s tennis teams faced heartbreaking defeats against the Moravian University Greyhounds. With both teams facing a two match losing streak, bringing the men’s overall record to 0-4 and the women’s to 2-2, the groups are looking to collect themselves and come back swinging after the much-needed break.

Caroline Maglaras ‘23, who will be spending her spring break with friends and family, is also planning to continuously work on her game and build up her strength. “[It’s] going to be a productive week of working on my tennis, lifting and working out. Just doing everything I can to continually prepare my body so it is in full force for the season,” she said. 

As one of the leaders on a young Mules’ team, along with an entirely new coaching staff, Maglaras understands that there will be some bumps on the road through this period of transition. In her view, despite heading into the break on a losing streak, consistency and trust remain the team’s core tenets.

“It has been quite the transition, but I am trusting the process, as I think we all are. I believe consistency is key and in order to execute desired results, we need to believe in ourselves and believe in the preparation we put in from day one,” Maglaras said. 

On the men’s side, Daniel Kantor ‘22 is taking his team’s 0-4 start in stride and is optimistic about the outlook for his group for the rest of the season. “Yeah being 0-4 is unfortunate, especially considering how well we performed the past few years… However we definitely have a great attitude, taking it match by match and we definitely feel like there are matches on our schedule that are winnable,” he said.

Maintaining a high level of morale, even in the face of defeat, extends to the women’s team as well. Maglaras described the attitude around the women’s locker room saying, “The attitude of the team is stronger than ever.”

Looking to return from break and emerge from the team’s rut, Kantor is keenly aware of the areas that his team needs to improve upon. According to him, improvement for such a young team comes with exposure to serious competition. “In addition to the technical and tactical work we are doing in practice, a lot of the guys just need more match experience,” he said.

Experience is invaluable, but equally important is showcasing support and love for fellow teammates as you watch from the sidelines. This is a facet of the game that Maglaras recognizes as needing improvement, and has been an important talking point amongst the team. 

“One of the biggest things we have talked a lot about is cheering for one another. This builds the team momentum needed for matches and when we have good energy, collectively we will be in a better position for the results we want,” she said.

While both teams are highly motivated to make adjustments, the spring season thus far has revealed a lot about the team’s strengths. Regardless of their recent finish, Maglaras sees the team’s broader understanding of the game to be a fundamental strong suit. “The strength we have as a team is understanding when to focus on the minute details and when to focus on the big picture,” she said. 

And the team’s effort on the court, in the gym and their willingness to grow has taken the notice of and has impressed Head Coach David DeLasCasas Kurvink. “I have been impressed with how hard the teams have been working to get better and bonding as a team,” he said.

With the teams poised for a rebuild this year, following the graduation of a handful of seniors, DeLasCasas Kurvink and his staff’s message heading into spring break has been one of trust. “Trusting the process is probably the most important message. We need to trust the work we are doing and shift the mindset to mirror that,” Maglaras said.

Similarly, the message from the staff to Kantor and the men’s side has been focused on trust, steady improvement and patience. “We can’t let the early losses get to us. We’re constantly improving and have a lot of matches ahead to prove ourselves,” Kantor said.

Taking this positive attitude into the break, both sides are anxiously awaiting their return to the court and are excited about more competition. 

As Kantor is looking forward to concluding his senior year with some deserving wins, Maglaras also looks to see the team’s hard work and cohesion return results. “I am excited [for]… the hard work put in year-round to translate to the court. I am also looking forward to the continued relationships made on the team and the bonds formed as the season progresses,” Maglaras said.

Both teams will return to their newly finished home at the Kern Field Courts, on Mar. 24 and 25, against Penn State University- Berks.

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