After losing its first two matches of the season, the Lady Rattlers tennis team (0-2) hopes to improve its record against the Stetson Hatters in Deland
, Fla., Saturday at noon
The team was shut out during both matches, losing 6-0 to Central Florida on Jan. 22, and 7-0 to Troy University on Jan. 29.
Head coach Nikki Goldthreate said she looks forward to watching the team improve as the season progresses and expects the team’s confidence to improve in the process.
With the team off to a slow start, Goldthreate said she expects the seniors, Alexis Brown, Britney Dean, Vanessa McCall and Kathline Durden, to provide leadership and confidence to the team.
“Things we have been focusing on are footwork and consistency,” said Goldthreate. “We have already played two matches and we are hoping to build on those.”
“I feel like it (the season) will get better the more we play,” said Elysia Ortiz, a freshman from Augusta, Ga.
Alexis Brown, a senior from Eagan, Minn., said anxiety might have impacted the underclassmen’s performances during the team’s losses.
“With our freshmen, this was one of their first matches so they were very nervous,” said Brown. “Probably after four matches they [freshmen] will be in the swing of things and that is when we start to hit MEAC (Mid-Eastern-Athletic Conference).”
As a veteran, Brown said she knows her team will compete against many tough program this weekend but chooses only to focus on FAMU and its performance.
“Stetson is actually a really great team,” said Brown. “I feel that going out there, there is nothing to lose, and I look forward to playing them. This is my last year and I want leave all out in the court.”
Overall, Goldthreate and the Lady Ratters said they feel good about the rest of the season, as its competitive nonconference schedule will help them prepare for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Lady Ratters said they also look forward to challenging South Carolina State University this year, which has won five consecutive MEAC southern division titles.
“South Carolina State is still the team to beat,” said Goldthreate “That is the team we just have to go after and we are looking to be number one this year.”