The Florida A&M men’s tennis team hosted the season’s first home match against Mercer University, claiming their first home victory with a final score of 4-3.
“Overall we played very well today,” said coach Carl Goodman. “We knew that they were going to be a very scrappy tough team but we didn’t let that throw us off our game or keep us from getting the W.”
Despite the challenging start the FAMU men’s tennis team faced, they have managed to pull together and turn things around winning their second match in a row, making their season record 2-3.
The Rattlers kicked off the match by sweeping the doubles matches, setting the momentum for the duration of the match.
Chidi Gabriel and Takura Happy, two breakout sophomores, battled it out against the bears in an intense doubles match and won their set 8-5.
“My biggest challenge in today’s match was keeping the ball on the court,” Chidi Gabriel said. “Throughout the majority of the tournament, I was hard on myself and playing mad. I realized that if I didn’t get my frustration together, it would hurt my overall performance.”
“Being able to get a win while playing angry says a lot,” Gabriel said. “It gives me the extra confidence assuring me that I am more than able to win when I am upset or frustrated.
The team is fairly young this year. Coach Goodman said that, despite the lack of collegiate experience on the team, they have a pretty good chance of winning big this season.
Levan Clark, a junior from Orlando, played a vital role in the team’s victory. Clark is new to the team, but he hasn’t let that stop him from playing a key role on top and playing his best.
Clark and Michael Moore, a senior from New York, scuffled with Mercer in their doubles match, solidifying the Rattler’s lead with an 8-4 win.
Following the singles, Clark dominated in the singles, winning his set with final scores of 6-2 and 6-3.
“Today’s match was a big match for me,” Clark said. “In both the doubles and singles, I played their top competitors and came out with a win.”
“Last year’s team was pretty good,” Clark said. “But, I feel as if this year’s team is even better. We are hungry and we want another MEAC championship title.”