The competition that the women’s tennis team is facing this season is stronger than last season’s, but head coach James Hargrove said his team is ready to step up to the challenge.
Leading the team are two players Hargrove described as his best and most talented athletes, Charlana Brown and Charlene Kambarami.
Brown, 19, a sophomore general studies student from Los Angeles, said that she feels she has really improved from the last season.
“I feel that coach played me lower in the lineup so that I would have a year to mature as a freshman,” Brown said.
She said she hopes this will really help her this season.
Brown also said that due to a lack of recruiting and the loss of some key seniors from last season, she will really have to step up and perform well.
Her personal goal for the season is to find a balance between tennis and school.
Brown’s teammate Kambarami said there is a major competition between them, which forces both to get better.
According to coach Hargrove, Kambarami, a sophomore broadcast journalism student from Zimbabwe, will be a very important factor in the team’s success.
“It is necessary for me to improve my play to help lead the team this season,” said Kambarami, who wants to earn a national ranking after not being ranked last year.
Narquinta Richardson, last season’s assistant coach, said she first noticed Kambarami’s determination and potential when she saw her reading a book on how to figure out her opponent.
“That’s just something you don’t see in every athlete,” Richardson said.
Hargrove will be looking at his team for a lot of improvements because of the increased competition and the fact that he didn’t reach his recruiting goals.
The team was only able to recruit one freshman this season, Monet Duncan.
Hargrove and Kambarami agree that freshman Monet Duncan can help the team because he has a lot of potential.
In addition, Coach Hargrove said he hopes to bring in another freshman in the spring semester.
“If the chemistry of the ladies works out I feel that we have a really good chance this year,” Hargrove said.