Cyclones take vacation from tournaments, not practice

Mark Schafer

The fall season is over for the ISU tennis team, but that doesn’t mean the team will be taking a break anytime soon.

Despite having no tournaments, practice will still play an important part over the team’s winter break.

“Everyone on the team has worked together really well and we have been focused at practice,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “As the team continues to grow, we should start to see better results.

“And I think for the most part, we got some of the nerves out that come with playing in college.”

After finishing its last tournament at Western Michigan last weekend, the team now has a 65-day break before heading into competition again.

Espinosa said there are several key areas the team will work on during the break.

“After WMU, we still are trying to figure out what the doubles teams will be,” Espinosa said. “We also still need to work on areas in the singles game and get the players to play to their comfort zone. It’s about taking the positives from the fall and improving on them.”

Some of the positives from the fall include the play of three players: junior Marie-Christine Chartier, senior Maria Macedo and freshman Meghan Cassens.

“There have been great efforts by everyone on the team,” Espinosa said of the three. “[They] have been gathering wins at every tournament.”

Chartier had a successful bout at the Western Michigan tournament, going undefeated the entire weekend. Macedo was the Cyclones’ lone representative in singles play at the ITA regionals competition earlier in late October, for which she was selected because of her previous tournament success this season.

Cassens won a portion of her first two tournaments earlier this year, with a doubles victory in her first college tournament, the UNI Invitational, and a singles win at the Kansas Invitational.

“In the fall season, you can’t always improve where you want to, because there are a lot of breaks in between the tournaments,” Chartier said. “You just have to listen and improve the best you can during practice.”

Like Chartier, Cassens said that improvement during practice has been a necessity for the team.

“We all have our own strengths and weaknesses,” Cassens said. “If you want to improve, then you will, and the coaches have helped us improve during practice so we can succeed as a team and individually.”

As the team continues to grow, Espinosa said improvement will start on the practice court and move its way to the competition court.

“Without tournaments, we really can start to have more focused practices,” Espinosa said. “If we improve in practice, we will improve at tournaments.”