Tennis team looks to turn some heads this season
The Broward College Women’s Tennis Team is looking to make a big splash this upcoming 2020 season. Head Coach Marlena Hall is hopeful that this season’s team will turn some heads and come out on top.
This will be Hall’s 11th season coaching at BC. While winning Nationals back to back along with Coach of the Year two years ago, Hall also holds the State Championship of the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) from April 2017.
The overall chemistry as a team seems to be the biggest difference coming into this year. From the coaching staff down to the incoming players, teamwork has improved. The team is mainly made up of incoming freshmen and just two returning sophomores as well as one transfer sophomore. This team seems to be built off of motivated players who are all here for the right reasons.
Incoming freshman Isabella Perez, from Venezuela, seems to be one of the players to keep an eye on as she finished second seed this past week in the ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) Tournament. She had a good singles and doubles draw with her partner, also freshman, Ajda Bukovic from Slovenia. Freshman Paulina Khotko, from Belarus, also had a successful finish at this past ITA tournament.
Hall also believes returning sophomores Giulia Leali, from Italy, and Bar Shimoni, from Israel, will come out and surprise many this season.
As they ended this past season much more successful than how they began, it was just a matter of time before they got used to the mentality and physical toll of college tennis. It looks to be that they are taking that experience from last season into this season to compete for themselves.
One player who has taken a year off is freshman Nicole Torres, who was a very successful player from Columbia.
The team is made up of many different languages and cultures as the majority of the team is from out of the country. What is great is that not only are they playing the sport they love, but that some are seeking asylum in the United States looking to make this a permanent home. BC has given them that opportunity to discover South Florida.
“We’re really just trying to get the girls used to a college format; the feeling of competing as a team so when the spring season does come it’s not such a shock,” says Hall.
Hall is using the Fall as a development period especially for their conditioning as players.
“They might not play match; I might have them play points and something competitive for maybe a month because I’m working on maybe changing a grip of theirs or teaching them a certain tactic they have to make into a habit,” says Hall.
As tennis is very habit forming and sometimes players don’t see the results until weeks later, they are really using this fall to develop their game physically and mentally. Next spring will be about putting all the pieces together and executing the knowledge and talent they have gained.
The team is mainly looking forward to the State Tournament. Being in one of the most competitive conferences in the country, they look to do very well in the regular season to secure a spot for the State Tournament.
The goal is to dominate there then make it to Nationals. Florida has some of the best talent for collegiate tennis and if you can make it through States, they should be able to handle Nationals.
Hall has high hopes for this season between her, her two assistant coaches and the nine, potentially 11, after two incoming players in January.