Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells
With just a little under a week until the start of the 2017 spring season, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams have been working around the clock to make their final preparations.
Head Coach James Cohagan is optimistic that all of the hard work will lead both of these teams to success this season.
The women’s team looks to start the season strong and will face Austin College in their season opener on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. in Sherman, TX. The home opener will take place on Saturday, March 11 at 2 p.m. versus LeTourneau University.
“The ladies are working very hard and practice has been purposeful and fun for the most part,” Cohagan said. “Those are great signs, and the ladies are all pulling for each other even while competing.
The coach said the team has been playing a lot of round robin matches and trying to get off to a great academic start since the main focus of their conference season occurs after spring break.
There are many new faces that will be joining the women’s team this season, and Coach Cohagan is hopeful that the few returning players will step up to lead the others to be successful this season.
“Ashlee Montgomery, Hope Nash and Shannon Kelly are our returning players this season,” Cohagan said. “They have to both play hard and serve as leaders for the other five ladies.”
Coming off a 4-11 record last season, Cohagan and the girls have placed their focus on ways to improve in many different areas of the game and have been working very hard to do just that.
“I think the ladies are working hard on the basic strategies of tennis — how to combine various patterns of play to defeat various opponents,” Cohagan said. “Specifically, it is our desire to get off to faster starts in our singles and doubles matches.”
The Cru men’s team will also face Austin College on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. in Sherman, Texas to start what looks to be a promising season.“I am very excited about our men’s group,” Cohagan said. “We have only one senior but he has been our number one player for three years. This year we have much better depth to our lineup and players are fighting to be in the top 6 singles spots and the top 3 doubles spots.”
Cohagan and the team have high expectations for what’s to come this season.
“We need to win more matches in the 3-6 spots in the singles lineup and the 2 and 3 doubles lineup,” Cohagan said. “Our goal is to win the West zone of the ASC and then make it to the tournament finals and win there.”
In order to reach their goal of winning the conference this season, Cohagan believes there are a few challenges that this team must come together to overcome.
“We must stay focused as a T-E-A-M and not dwell on where we are playing in the lineup or if we are in the lineup,” Cohagan said. “Right now we are competing very hard with each other, and must shift gears soon to our competition with other schools.”
Coach Cohagan has spent many years committed to the game and loves to share his passion with the team every single day.
“I have coached here many years now,” he said. “It remains a challenge to stay relevant to the players of each new generation and draw out the best in who they are both as players and as people. The joy of sharing with each group — both in the good times and in the difficult ones— is a great opportunity to learn from my players and grow with them.”