GC tennis opens up against tough competition

Autumn Arnette, Staff Writer

Tennis opened their season Friday, Sept. 23 at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional tournament in Sumter, South Carolina.

The ITA three-day regional tournament featured all top players in both singles and doubles brackets.

The GC women’s and men’s team only brought a select few single and doubles pairings to compete in the ITA regional tournament.

Both Bobcat Tennis teams had highly successful first days which advanced the teams successfully into the second day of the tournament.

The GC men’s team started out the second day with two single players and a double pairing.

Sophomore Gabriel Cizek dominated the first day of the tournament and continued to the second day until the two-set matchup with the No. 16-seed.

The women’s tennis team advanced victoriously to day three. The Bobcats had two single players and a pair of doubles teams still actively playing in the brackets. One of the players leading the Bobcats to day three was sophomore Chiara Santoro.

“I would say the doubles performance with my partner Sofia was great. We had a good run until we got eliminated by the first seed,” Santoro said.

Both GC Tennis teams started their season on a successful and determined note. The fall season allows time for tremendous growth up until the spring season. The team is determined to produce a better outcome this season.

“I know a lot of us returning vividly remember how we felt ending the season last year,” said junior Ashton Morrison.

In the spring of 2022, the GC’s women’s tennis team finished with an overall record of 15-7. Their play in the Peach Belt Conference resulted in a record of 4-3 and their regional play earned them a record of 7-3.

The men’s team finished with an overall record of 6-10. Their Peach Belt Conference play resulted in a record of 1-5, and regionally, they finished out 1-3.

Fall training for both GC teams are at an all-time high intensity from last season’s results. Training on court, in the gym, and on the track the players are determined to see progressed results this season.

“In the fall, a lot of conditioning is done so by the spring we are in the best shape to perform well all season,” said junior Sebastian Nunez. “By practicing our footwork and consistency drills, it created good habits of hitting our shots mindfully.”

“This fall is an intense grind, but the competition is what we live for, so grinding towards one unison goal is really what keeps us going,” Morrison said.

Coach Steve Barsby strives for consistency and precision from his players. During this fall season, drills regarding volley exercises and baseline drills are expected from his players each practice.

“Coach Barsby has helped me tremendously with doubles but particularly with consistency and at the net,” Santoro said.

With intense conditioning and tournaments throughout this fall season, the GC tennis teams are projected to play aptly up to the spring season.

Both GC tennis teams are back in action Sept.30-Oct.3 in the Mercer Gridiron Classic held in Macon, Ga.