After a successful win against Southern Mississippi last Saturday, Florida A&M men’s tennis team will continue on in the MEAC conference against Carolina State University Saturday in Orangeburg, S.C. at 2 p.m.
This is an important match for the Rattlers because this will determine which tennis team will become the no. 1 in the Southern division.
“The two premiere programs in the MEAC,” Coach Carl Goodman said. “We are definitely going up there to win.”
The Rattlers are still ranked in the top 80 percent with a season record of 15-5. The team continues to go strong and has high chances of winning the MEAC championship. The team is scheduled to play Carolina State again during the championship match.
“If everything goes as plan we should meet them again in the championship,” Goodman said.
In the last week the team has played Troy University and defeated Southern Mississippi with a final score of 4-3. The Rattlers will continue against Bethune-Cookman, Fort Valley State and Lamar University.
“I feel confident about the match. We’ve been beating our teams,” Levan Clark said. “This is a good stepping point to win our goals and win the MEAC.”
The teams recent preparation comes from the prior matches played. Coach Goodman mentions that playing solid teams helps prepare the guys for future matches. Also, the team runs 5 to 6 miles a week and lift weights twice a week with a trainer for conditioning.
“I’m trying to get their muscles to recover from this past weekend,” Goodman said. “A match lasts about 4 or 5 hours, they played to games this past weekend so that’s about 10 hours in total.”
Coach Goodman doesn’t want to over practice his players. Monday the team was required to rest, Wednesday they went about 75 percent, Thursday they will go full force and Friday the Rattlers will leave for their upcoming match.
“We are efficient as possible and in peak performance shape,” Chidi Gabriel said. “As long as we keep the same mindset we will take it.”
The team’s top player Levan Clark is making a good recovery from his injury. Clark was out practicing with his fellow teams and could be ready to play in Saturday’s match. Clark has a good chance of being player of the year in the conference.
“It’s getting a lot better by the day so hopefully I can play,” Levan Clark said.
The Rattlers main concern for their upcoming match is to get to a quick start and finish strong in the end. Their goal for the doubles is to play smart. Mentally the team will be in good shape if they implement everything that’s been worked on. Physically the team is in shape and healthy.
“I make sure they are not comfortable and are still hungry for the upcoming match,” Goodman said.