Florida A&M University’s men’s tennis team is looking to shake things up for their competition.
So far the tennis team has been rather active dealing with opposing teams in the USF Spring Invitational.
Their first match of their regular season took place Jan. 20 against Georgia Southern at the FAMU courts.
Team members said they went out with confidence and it shined through their performance.
“We played as well as we could and we won 4-3,” said Forrest Jenkins, 19, a sophomore accounting student from Houston.
Jenkins said the team practiced hard leading up to its first match. He said they had no thoughts of losing. Teammate William Mau-asam agreed.
“We did alright,” said Mau-asam, 24, a senior political science student from Quarceco. “Everyone did what they were supposed to do.”
Mau-asam said the freshmen really stepped up their game, and it was an improvement from last year. The coaches said the team practices hard during every practice.
“We practiced hard by training and staying focused on winning,” said Pfungwa Mahefeu, the assistant coach.
Mahefeu also said he and Carl Goodman, the head coach, work one on one with the athletes. He said they are taught all aspects of the game.
Mahefue said his top players so far have been Clifford Malivert, a senior from Miami, and Michael Moore, a freshman from New York. Both men were no. 2 singles in the first tournament of the year.
The tennis team had a game Friday against the University of South Alabama. It was a hard match and the Rattlers lost, but the team said it can shake off defeat.
As the team progresses into the season, some players said training has gotten more intense.
“We have been working hard and working our tails off,” said Mau-asam. “We have been playing in tournaments and pushing each other on the court.”
Mau-asam said the members of the track team are a tight group and they are like a family.
Players said the coaches regularly stress drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Because of the loss to South Alabama, the tennis team has set a new goal. Mau-asam said the team wants to win every home match.
“We are going all the way,” said Malivert. “Our goal is winning the MEAC championships.”
The team’s next match will be against Nicholls State on Feb. 9.