Lady Rattlers Stumble to Blackbirds, Cougars

Despite keeping each of its matches close, the Lady Rattlers tennis team fell to both the Long Island Blackbirds and the Chicago State Cougars this weekend in Orlando.

The Lady Rattlers lost both hotly contested matches 4-3.

Senior Alexis Brown blames Florida A&M’s losses on the weekend’s scorching temperatures and the team’s fatigue after participating in matches two days in a row.

“It was almost 90 degrees on the court, and we have to make sure we stay hydrated because it can be extremely difficult to get through matches that are long,” Brown said.

The match against the Blackbirds seemingly came down to the wire in both singles and doubles competition.

In singles competition, LIU’s Sanne Louwers defeated Britney Dean 6-1, 6-0. Taysha Blessington defeated Kathline Duvden 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 for another Blackbird victory. FAMU’s Brown defeated Lisa Maas 6-2, 6-2. LIU’s Nancy Zonneveld defeated Bethany Holt 1-6, 6-1, 7-6(3). FAMU’s Elysia Ortiz defeated Brittany Thompson 6-3, 6-3.

In doubles, Louwers and Blessington defeated Duvden and Alexis Brown 8-0. Maas and Zonneveld defeated Holt and Ortiz 9-7. Dean and Shani Williams won by default.

Dean, a senior, said FAMU is a strong team despite its early struggles this season.

“During my matches, I usually try to copy what I do in practice and incorporate that during the match,” Dean said. “I’m graduating, but this team is great and I hope to see them improve, stay positive and keep up the team cohesiveness.”
Ortiz, a freshman, said remaining focused and conditioned would improve the team’s performance during similar matches.

“I try my best to stay focus on the target and my goal during the games so I can be in and out,” Ortiz said. “Building our endurance by conditioning, weight training and running really pulls the team through some of the longer matches.”
Brown said she is happy with the team’s performance this weekend but knows there is always room for improvement.

“If we train hard this week and capitalize on our mistakes we will do well in in our next match,” Brown said.

FAMU will be strengthening its endurance this week as it prepares to take on Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival South Carolina State on Friday at the FAMU Tennis Complex. The match begins at 1 p.m