These last two weeks have been tough ones for Auburn tennis. Both the men’s and women’s teams are 0-7 in the conference this spring, each team’s most recent loss coming at the hands of rival Alabama. Where did things go wrong for both teams?
The men’s tennis team needs to find more consistency from their singles play. Only five singles points have been won in their seven-game conference losing streak. Matches cannot be won exclusively by winning doubles points, so better play from these singles matches is going to be required to start winning. Even then the men are not winning enough doubles points either, which means the problem is larger than the terrible singles play.
I believe the main issue for the men’s team is a lack of experience on the team. Brandon Laubser is the only senior on the team, and six out of nine players on the team are either sophomores or freshmen. This tennis season has been a growing experience for the men’s team, if you count getting pummeled by every other SEC team as experience, which I do. I believe the men’s team is like a meal you cook in a crockpot; it doesn’t look great at first, you may even wonder how these ingredients will turn into your meal, but give it enough time and those ingredients will begin to melt together and become delicious. We are still in the early crockpot stages for this team, but I believe the best is yet to come.
The women’s team has a similar theme when talking about their recent struggles. Six of the ten players on the women’s roster are either freshmen or sophomores. I expected a lot more out of the lady Tigers, but the SEC has shown the inexperienced ladies how tough it is. The team has had to travel away for the last three matches, so it could be that the team is just fatigued and needs to play a match at home. Whatever the problem is for the women's team has caused the season to slowly slip away for them. I expected better play this season from the women’s team when compared to the men’s, but the young core still needs time to blossom for the women's team.
Both teams get back in action this Friday with matches against Tennessee and Georgia, the women playing here in Auburn and the men traveling on the road.