The Florida A&M Women’s Tennis team appears confident they will finish number one at the Thomasville Collegiate Invitational.
Florida A&M will be in competition against Valdosta State University, West Florida, Georgia State University and Georgia Southern during the three day event starting on September 11-13 in Thomasville, Ga. West Florida will be lead by Senior Barbara Oliveira who was the Argonauts top singles player with a 17-6 record and a 14-16 doubles match record. Georgia State University will have four returning players from last season’s team that ranked number 3 in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in 2009-2010. Georgia Southern University will bring back three seniors from last season’s team that finished the 2009-2010 season with an overall record of 11-9.
Junior Kathline Durden who will compete in both singles and doubles matches says that her service game when be a vital part of her overall contribution to the team’s success throughout the tournament.
“I will key in on my volleys and overheads because I am more of an attack player so I feel that if I stay on the baseline I will use up most of my energy,” said Durden. “So my goal will be to work on closing off the points in a hurry in order to sustain energy.”
Durden says the warm fall conditions will benefit Florida A&M due to its preparation for matches in humid weather throughout the season.
“I actually believe we are one of the best teams equipped for warm weather and most of the teams aren’t use to competing in warm weather on a regular basis,” she added.” Since we condition in hot weather, we are well suited to play in any type of heat.
Head coach Rochelle “Nikki” Goldthreate says her team will respond the right way in the tournament due to their preparation throughout practice.
“The first couple of practices we have been very positive, we’ve been working on our consistency and our footwork has gotten considerably better,” said Goldthreate. “I have a lot of confidence in this team, it’s one way to access our play in practice it’s another when you’re playing and we’ll have to see how we are able to make that transition to the tournament.”
Florida A&M will take five players from the singles and doubles draw with an even amount of matches.
The wins and the losses, despite the outcome, will be averaged up until the last day of the tournament where the seedings of the athletes will be determined.