The Florida A&M men’s tennis team ended its conference regular season undefeated after a 6-1 victory over the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats Saturday.
The Rattlers finished with a 3-0 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and they clinched the number one seed for the conference championship.
Senior David Jackson won MEAC player of the week and has a chance to win conference player of the year. According to Jackson, head coach Carl Goodman told him he has been capable of dominating the conference all season.
“(Goodman) has told me since the start of the season that he felt as though I was the best player in the conference,” Jackson said. “I just wanted to end conference play undefeated at the number one singles spot, and have a chance for player of the year.”
Jackson won his singles match in two sets (6-2, 6-3), and he won his doubles match with junior Michael Moore 9-7. They had to come from behind in their doubles match and they picked up a crucial doubles point.
“(Our) doubles match was the toughest match of the day,” Moore said. “We were down and not playing our best the whole day, but we stayed strong and found a way to pull it out in the end to clinch the very important doubles point.”
Moore also won his singles match in two sets (6-1, 6-0).
Senior Forrest Jenkins said the Rattlers were able to capitalize on victories in doubles matches that carried over into the singles matches against a tough Wildcats team.
“BCU was competitive in the early portion of the match,” Jenkins said. “But once we captured the doubles point, our momentum continued in the singles, allowing us to win.”
Jenkins lost his singles match in two sets (6-2, 6-2), he was also paired with junior Maurice Wamukowa in a doubles match and they lost 9-7. He said miscues between he and Wamukowa early in the match caused them to lose.
“There were opportunities to take the lead early that I failed to convert on,” Jenkins said. “I feel like that’s what caused myself and (Wamukowa) to lose our doubles match.”
The Rattlers have one match remaining, against the Troy University Trojans, before the conference championships begin.
Freshman Temuera Asafu-Adjaye said the Rattlers are one step closer to achieving their goal of winning the conference championship, and he is not looking past the Trojans.
“We are focusing just on this match for now,” Asafu-Adjaye said. “We’ve been working on stuff for conference all year and Troy is a match that we really want to win.”
Asafu-Adjaye won his singles match in sets (6-2, 6-2) and he teamed up with freshman Takura Happy for an 8-3 doubles match victory.
The conference-winning team will take on the Trojans Saturday at 1 p.m. on the Florida A&M tennis courts.