Tennis team wins second year in a row

Even after their most recent win, Florida A&M University’s men’s tennis team, feels there is still room for improvement before the next competition.

The FAMU men’s and women’s tennis team traveled to Atlanta to compete in the 8th Annual HBCU Classic Tournament this past weekend. The men finished first with 29 points, clutching their second consecutive tournament win in two years.

The men competed in three different flights. Flight A was the top category, flight B was the middle category and flight C was the lowest.

Artiom Podgaini defending champion of both the singles and doubles matches grabbed another victory in the tournament.

“I felt like I did what I was supposed to do. I felt well about the way we played doubles,” said Podgaini, 21, a senior physical education student from Chisinau, Moldova. “I’m the defending champion from last year and it was a great feeling to win again.”

Podgaini said going into the competition he was already set for success.

“I felt like I was going into the tournament in pretty good shape, but I feel it’s a lot I have to work on,” Podgaini said.

Paul Paige, 21, senior business administration student from Philadelphia, Pa., beat teammate Michael Moore in the Flight A competition.

“I was excited that we won the tournament. I was the defending champion for both the B and C flight last year,” Paul said. “Our real season doesn’t start until the spring. As of now we are only playing singles.”

Paige also said the team has been practicing hard for the next couple of competitions.

“We practice for two hours everyday. We do a lot of conditioning and running as well as lifting weights,” Paige said. “My expectations to win the MEAC championship have been the same for every season. Right now we are the top team in the MEAC and we just want to win the title.”

Simearashe Hatty, 20, a junior business student from Zimbabwe, said even though the team won last weekend, there are some things that they still can improve on.

“We just are trying to work on stuff that we didn’t do very well in the tournament last weekend,” Hatty said. “The upcoming tournaments will be more competitive than the recent tournament.”

Hatty said the Atlanta tournament helped them focus on the one coming up.

“The first tournament really showed us where we are,” Hatty said. “I think it’s still some things we can improve.”

The team will travel to Jacksonville next weekend to compete in a tournament held at the University of North Florida. This will be the team’s first time competing in this competition, along with 10 to 15 other universities.