The tennis team opened their season with a perfect 4-0 overall record. In the process, they set a new school record by going 36-0 in their individual matches to start the season.
Head Coach Rob Bruley has led the Lady Hawks to the finals of the SUNYAC Tournament each of the last 11 seasons, capturing four SUNYAC Championships.
Going into the season, Bruley was worried how his team would perform after losing half the team to graduation, but said he’s very happy with the way the season has played out so far.
“It’s been amazing,” Bruley said. “I was very apprehensive and panicking a little bit, but it’s been a great start.”
Chosen to be the team’s lone captain is fourth-year No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles Paige Munroe. Bruley said that she’s a player others strive to be like.
“She’s just a born leader,” Bruley said. “She plays tennis like she’s playing chess. She’s moving the players around and putting the balls away.”
Munroe credits a leadership program before the start of the season that she attended with helping her become a better captain, she said.
“This year I did a program with all the different captains of the sports teams,” Munroe said. “That was really good for me to see leadership qualities and how I can be a better leader.”
This season, the team has a new addition to help improve its skills on the court, Munroe said.
“He [Bruley] brought in an old player who’s doing personal training now, so that really got us sharp and ready,” Munroe said.
Bruley credits the four first-year players who he recruited to help fill the void that resulted after players graduated last spring, he said.
“Fortunately we brought in four super freshman,” Bruley said. “There’s a lot of pressure on our No. 1 Olivia Ammriati. She’s playing the best that’s out there. If she stays healthy and on top of her game, she’s going to gain a lot of experience playing these tremendous players.”
Munroe echoed her coach’s feelings on the team’s first-year players.
“I think they’re doing pretty well,” Munroe said. “A lot of times it’s hard to come in, but they’ve all won as much as returners have won.”
Bruley believes that the unity that this team in particular has is a reason that they’re doing so well, he said.
“In all my years this is probably one of the tightest teams that we’ve had,” Bruley said. “People look at tennis as an individual sport, but for us it’s a team sport.”
On Friday the Lady Hawks will travel to play SUNY Geneseo, who won the SUNYAC Championship last season. Third-year Devin Tracy said this is a match that she’s focused on winning.
“We’re really big rivals with [Geneseo] and we really don’t like them,” Tracy said. “I’m really hoping once we get there that we have good energy and beat them.”
Overall, Munroe said she has one goal in mind for this season.
“I want to win SUNYAC’s this year, it’s time to do it. We’re ready to do it,” Munroe said. “I really want to lead our team to something great.”
Following their match at Geneseo on Friday, the Lady Hawks will play at The College of Brockport on Saturday.