Men’s Tennis Team’s Consistency making the difference

Photo Mar 12, 2 34 06 PM (1)

This season the Georgia State Men’s Tennis Team is ranked nationally at No. 51, which is the highest in school history and have won 11 of their last 12 games. The team is currently 15-4, 2-0 in conference, and the main reason for their success is their consistency as a team and the fact that they’ve been healthy.

Coming into the season, head coach Brett Ross wanted the team to work on its chemistry and their consistency as a whole and the results speak for themselves.

“We really worked on growing as a team and building team chemistry this season,” Coach Ross said. “I think when we play our matches this season, there’s been a lot more energy and they are playing for each other. We’ve won our last six in a row and being consistent has been a result of the energy that we’ve brought into every single match.”

Not only has the team been consistent, but this year’s team compared to last year has been really healthy. Last year the team rarely played with their full lineup because of injuries and this year the team has played their full lineup majority of the season with no major injuries.

“Everybody’s really consistent and on top of that everybody’s staying healthy,” junior Felipe Jaworski said. “I mean last year we barely played any matches with the full lineup and this year we haven’t had like any injuries and I think that’s key.”

“I think the most important thing this season is that we’ve been fit”, freshmen Jack MacFarlane said. “I’ve only missed one match whereas last season I know they had people out like the whole season. I think having our main six being fit the whole time has helped keep the team where we are at the moment.”

Junior Jaworski and freshmen MacFarlane dominating are dominating the court

Jaworski is having the best season of his career with a record of 12-3 on the season and winning his last seven matches. The main reason for much of his success is his confidence this season and the team’s confidence as a whole.

“At the beginning it’s always tough, but as you get through more matches and start winning everyone gets a lot more confident,” Jaworski said. “We’ve had some close matches and we were clutch and that gives you a lot of confidence. After that everyone wants to raise their level [of play] a little bit.”

Coach Ross has noticed Jaworski’s level of play increasing and feels that his dominant power style of play is what makes him so good.

“Felipe is having a great year at 12-3 this season,” Coach Ross said. “I think he’s got a game that can overpower a lot of people. Another thing is that he’s really stayed healthy this year and last year he really struggled with that.”

Not only is Jaworski on a seven game winning streak, but so is  MacFarlane. He has the best record on the team at 13-5 on the season and has won 8 of his last 10 games. MacFarlane is playing at a high level and feels that he’s playing a lot better than he did during the fall.

“I think I’ve definitely played a lot better than in the fall,” MacFarlane said. “I think playing for a team just relaxes me a lot more. And being out there playing next to people that you are playing for I think gives me an edge confidence wise.”

Coach Ross’s philosophy of team chemistry, consistency and playing for one another has even impacted the freshmen on his team like MacFarlane and it has contributed to his success.

“Jack’s been great and he’s talented enough to beat anybody,” Coach Ross said. “I’ve been really impressed with how consistent he’s been like the team has. He’s a clutch player and he’s been in some clutch moments and has clinched I think the last four matches for us.”

MacFarlane has indeed clinched the last four matches for the team and playing at such a high level as a freshman, his potential is through the roof.

Jannis Koeke about to hit ball during a match at Blackburn park on March 12.  Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal
Jannis Koeke about to hit ball during a match at Blackburn park on March 12.
Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal

Sun Belt Conference Preview

The No. 51 ranked Panthers are the only team ranked in the Top 75 ITA rankings from the Sun Belt Conference. The Panthers have three matches left and two of those matches are against conference opponents. If the Panthers win their last three matches they will be the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

With the conference tournament approaching Coach Ross feels the most important thing for his guys is to stay healthy so the starting six will be able to play in these playoff caliber matches.

“We just need to do the same thing we’ve been doing all year,” Coach Ross said. “Our practices have been focused on keeping each other healthy and keeping things really light during the week just to make sure our bodies are prepared for the matches.”

The Sun Belt Conference Tournament will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana starting on April 21.