A sluggish start in doubles play almost afforded the Rattlers tennis team a loss against Nicholls State, but it regrouped late in the match to pull off a noteworthy win.
“The team’s performance was okay,” junior Salif Kante said. “It wasn’t our best, but we did what we needed to do in singles to seal the match. Our fighting spirit was tested.”
Florida A&M defeated the Colonels 4-3. In the beginning of the match, FAMU lost the doubles points and had to win four of the remaining six single matches to win overall.
“We came out really hard to play in singles,” junior Temuera Asafu-Adjaye said about the match’s final sets. “We gave it to them and came out with four wins.”
Kante, Asafu-Adjaye, Chidi Gabriel and Takura Happy were among those who won singles matches to receive a team victory.
“They pulled through,” assistant coach Michael Moore said. “In the singles they knew they had to get four wins and they went out there and got it. Despite the conditions with courts not as favored, they were away and everyone was against them but they still came through.”
Gabriel said he agrees with Moore about the team’s performance down the stretch.
“We played away so we had to turn their home into our home,” Gabriel said. “They had like 100 people out there and every mistake we made they were cheering their heads off. So each one of us got behind out teammates and helped each other pull through our matches. It was ugly but we made things work.”
Every team member said he did his part to contribute to the win.
“I played well,” Asafu-Adjaye said. “I played at the lower end of the line-up and I took care of my business for the team. Think I had a good match.”
“I think I played solid and did what I needed to do to get my win,” Gabriel said.
Despite everyone playing to their potential, Moore said the team still has room for progress in certain areas overall.
“We need to work on playing more solid doubles so it can make things a lot easier when it comes to playing singles,” Moore said.
FAMU will return to action Saturday against the Stetson Hatters in Deland, Fla. at noon.