Pirates finish fall schedule with exhibition; Zalameda talks mindset entering hiatus

The Seton Hall women’s tennis team faced off against LIU Brooklyn in an unscored exhibition on Saturday, playing singles and doubles matches in an attempt to stay sharp as both teams get set for a winter break before the season starts up again in January.

To begin the action, both teams faced off in two separate matches of doubles.

Photo via SHU Athletics

Melody Taal paired up with Michal Matson to begin doubles, while Krista Cerpina and Katie Kim made up the other doubles tandem.

Midway through, the Pirates switched partners, with Kim shifting over to play with Matson and Cerpina teaming up with Taal.

Taal and Matson competed in two singles matches, with Taal winning her match, while Matson suffered defeat in a tightly contested contest.

Pirates head coach Riza Zalameda, now in her second season, is looking to build off some of the success which the team experienced last year, winning against the third-seeded Georgetown Hoyas in the Big East Championship.

“One of my favorite coaches in history and someone that brings inspiration to me is John Wooden – and he said winning takes talent, to repeat takes character,” Zalameda said. “Going into this year we really have to push ourselves even more; yes, we pushed hard last year because everyone was new, and this year everyone has to be more professional than ever. Be prepared, be on time and do not waste time.”

Liking what she has seen out of her team this fall, Zalameda is hoping that the Pirates can maintain confidence into the all-important spring season.

“I think it’s really important – an athlete’s confidence is probably 90 percent of the game,” Zalameda said. “When we have fun, we go in with the mindset of ‘everything I want’, that’s always a big start to what we are doing.”

The Pirates will look to carry over that mindset through the winter and into their first competitive match of 2018, against Fordham, on Jan. 27.

Evando Thompson can be reached at evando.thompson@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @Thompsev.

Author: Evando Thompson

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