After an improvement at the West Point Invitational, the Pirates’ tennis team heads to Navy this weekend.
The opening invitational at Quinnipiac brought results for the Hall that concerned head coach Greg Wyzykowski. “We were not showing our best,” Wyzykowski said, “we had tough matches against one and two-seeded players.”
Seton Hall competed well despite the tough competition, but the rust from the offseason showed in the first tournament of the fall season.
The Pirates improved at West Point, but are looking to make even bigger strides with just three events left This fall.
“There is work we need to do to make our lineup stronger as we head towards the spring,” Wyzykowski said, “It can be tough with brand new players in new conditions and with new teammates.”
Seton Hall has three freshmen on the roster and two in particular have played well through the first three tournaments.
Freshman Katie Kim has done well with her adjustments. She has gone from playing matches against competitors from her hometown of Honolului to much tougher competition.
“Katie has played quite well and has put up battles against players she is not used to and holding her own.” Wyzykowski said.
Another freshmen, Latvian-native Luize Liva Strike, has also been adjusting well to Division I tennis however, her, along with junior Hannah Liljekvist are “nicked up,” and likely won’t make the trip due to minor injuries.
This means that Coach Wyzykowski will not have a full team for the invitational. Due to this, Seton Hall may not have any players competing in the “A” division at the tournament. However, the goal for the Pirates remains the same. “Our goal is to compete strongly and learn to win even on a bad day,” Wyzykowski said. “It would be great to get most of the team to the semifinals or finals, but we do not want to put on expectations for every flight.”
The goal clearly is to see what this team can do before the main season beings in the Spring. Another reason for this is the time commitment according to Wyzykowski; “There are class conflicts and the fact that the courts are off campus makes it tough,” he said, “but we had a great practice on Sunday and got a lot done at the practice.”
At those weekend practices, the team focused mostly on consistency. Coach Wyzykowski worked with his team on keeping the ball in play for as long as they could. The reason is to try and instill in his younger players, but also his team overall, that players will return their serves and do it with pace on them.
With all of that said, the goals for the women’s tennis team are long term and include solid play in addition to wins in the Big East. “We need to beat Big East teams and have a winning record in the Big East,” said Wyzykowski.
The Pirates will get their chance to do just that at the Navy Blue and Gold Invitational, where tennis players from Georgetown will be competing. If the team can start to “mesh in the lineup, and continue to learn how to play college doubles,” according to Wyzykowski, there could be a lot to like about the Hall in tennis for the spring.
Seton Hall travels to Navy on October 10th to being the invitational in Annapolis, Md. The three-day event concludes on the 12th.
Sean Saint Jacques can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @SSaintj7.