With a current record of 13-4, the New Paltz Tennis team is hoping to finish the final three matches in their spring season and compete in the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championships in May.
Head Coach Robert Bruley said he believes their spring season has been a lot tougher than the one they finished this fall, due in part to the non-conference games against private schools the Hawks have faced.
Despite the season being tougher on the girls, Bruley said it has been a successful season thus far and that fourth-year Lindsey Garyn and first-year Paige Munroe have stood out among the team.
“The team is very small and a very tight-knit group,” Coach Bruley said.
Bruley said the team is supportive of one another and socialize both on and off the court. He said he has been continually impressed by the maintenance the girls have exhibited with their fitness levels, something he believes is a testament to the team’s continued conditioning programs during their offseason.
Over the course of the team’s remaining matches, Bruley said he hopes they can continue to improve on their double’s playing and that Mother Nature will allow the team to practice on the courts more often.
Their goal now is to make it through one round at the championships, and Bruley said the tournament will be very tough and extremely competitive.
Team captain and fourth-year Stephanie Schara believes that tennis is a sport of experience and fitness, more so than many others, and the girls haven’t stopped improving.
“I think the season is going much better than any of us expected…the wins have been tons of fun,” Schara said.
Schara also pointed out high points of the season so far, including the senior match she recently played with Garyn.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything better and the team was nice enough to decorate the courts for Lindsey and I,” Schara said.
Bruley and Schara said the team’s main goals heading forward are to finish their dual match season as strong as possible and get through a round at the NCAA national championships.
“It would be an amazing cap to my four years here as well as a motivator for future teams. I don’t worry about the team working hard to achieve anything. They all run and play almost every day,” Schara said.
Second-year player Kayla DiPaulo also believes their season is going well so far.
“We got a great start during spring break in Florida where we won three out of our four matches … We all generally have a positive attitude before going out onto the court and never give up,” DiPaulo said.
Having a positive attitude is something DiPaulo believes is key to their success. She said the team hopes to achieve their goal of not losing another match by continuing to dedicate themselves to practicing in order to continue their success.
Munroe, who Bruley said has had a strong first season for the Hawks, said the team’s start in Florida helped them prepare for matches that followed and the recent tournament at MIT showcased how strong the Hawks are.
“Playing high quality teams also really helped strengthen us for the rest of the season,” Munroe said.
The Hawks will continue their season by playing Ithaca College on April 15.