Three sophomores hope to carry team to the championships.
While most students are beginning to look forward to the weekend by Thursday afternoon, six young women are still hard at work.
The women’s tennis team takes to the court every weekday, running drills that mimic real play and scrimmaging one another to sharpen their skills.
There is rarely a time when someone is not engaged, with even the coach hopping in to play a point here and there.
During a break from the action Coach Nikki Goldthreate talked about three players that she hopes will prove extremely effective against this season’s opposition.
All three are sophomores and all three are expected to make a big impact this year.
One of the young women, Alexis Brown, has already made a name for herself, winning last season’s coveted MEAC Rookie of the Year award.
Her baseline-oriented play is aggressive but efficient, earning her a winning record last season. Brown also sports a positive attitude and competitive approach that intimidates opponents and rallies her fellow players.
She has done nothing but improve, and is expected to remain instrumental in the team’s success.
Also making an early impression is Brown’s teammate, Kathline Durden. With a calmer, more reserved baseline game, Durden was able to rack up a winning record in her freshman season. Her play, although excellent, may be too reserved; Coach Goldthreate acknowledges that Durden needs to put forward a more spirited effort when it comes to shutting down opponents and putting them away.
Last but not least is Britney Dean, yet another solid baseline player. After a solid performance last season, Dean has improved tremendously. Goldthreate personally recognized her progress and hinted that her record this year should reflect her improvement with more wins. Dean shows great promise, and all that remains is for her skills to be tested in competition.
As the Lady Rattlers begin their season this month, their championship hopes rest largely with this trio of young women.
Although they are relatively new, they have already proven themselves, and Coach Goldthreate is only “looking for them to get better” as time goes by. Senior Rachel Pye is looking to lead the team to the MEAC Championship this year, but her support, and the team’s future, will be these three.
Durden’s influence on the team is only expected to increase as this season progresses.