FAMU tennis team faces major rivalry while advancing in their season

The Florida A&M tennis team improved to 2-0 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with a 4-3 victory over the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Saturday.

The Rattlers want consistency to be the focal point of practice this week before their next match against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats.

Forrest Jenkins, a senior from Houston, said the Bulldogs was some of the best competitors that the Rattlers have faced all season, and he was just happy to leave the match with a victory. Jenkins said the Rattlers could have an even better outcome the next time they face the Bulldogs.

“South Carolina State is one of the two toughest teams in the conference,” Jenkins said. “But we won 4-3 and we still have some improving to do, so by the time we get to the conference championship, we’ll look for an ever better result.”

Jenkins wants to be more explosive against the Wildcats, but he said as long as he gives maximum effort, he would be content. He also said consistency will be a key element to victory on Saturday.

“I need to play solid, consistent tennis and come out with a lot of energy,” Jenkins said. “I just come out here everyday and do the best that I can. I just want to make sure that everything in my game is as good as I can possibly make it.”

David Jackson, from Indianapolis, wants to improve on consistency as well when he is on the court. When the Rattlers go up against the Wildcats, Jackson said he wants to capitalize on points and draw solid contact off short balls.

“I want to be more consistent, keep the ball in play and get longer points,” Jackson said. “When I have a short ball, I need to make sure I see it and make sure I hit a solid ball off the short ball.”

The Rattlers had several opportunities to close out the Bulldogs in some matches, and Temuera Asafu-Adjaye, from Auckland, New Zealand, said he hopes the Rattlers will take advantage of situations when they are up.

“We need to focus on putting away our matches,” Asafu-Adjaye said. “We won a lot of our matches (against the Bulldogs) in three sets, whereas we could have easily won them in two. We need to try to put the matches away when we can.”

The Rattlers will square off against the Wildcats on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the Rattlers’ home court.