More often than not, it seems that history repeats itself. At least the men’s tennis team certainly hopes it does.
Last year at this time, the team won a close match against Clemson and lost an equally close match to Georgia Tech in its final weekend of the regular season.
This year, they achieved eerily similar results, as they just barely failed to score an upset against the Yellow Jackets and squeezed by the Tigers.
After these matches last year, the team advanced to the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. Team members hope they can repeat that success this year, and use the results of these matches to go even further in the tournament.
“We went into the (ACC) tournament in a very similar situation last year,” said Jim Thompson, head coach. “We proved that some of the matches we lost in the regular season we could win the second time around, and we’re fired up to have that opportunity again this year.”
The team has quite the challenge ahead of it, as it attempts to correct some of the issues that surfaced in this weekend’s matches.
Against Georgia Tech, the team struggled in doubles play, and team members believe those problems contributed to the close 4-3 loss.
“Doubles are so important to starting a match off well, and we couldn’t quite come through (against Georgia Tech),” said Lucas Oliveira, a sophomore. “They’re a really good team, and we still were at least able to make it a really close match.”
Coaches agreed that the team proved a lot simply by competing so fiercely.
“The team played really well, and obviously we wanted to have a few different things go our way, but, with the exception of doubles, I was really pleased with their effort,” Thompson said.
The match against Clemson presented its own set of challenges, as the team was tasked with handling the emotion of senior day, while taking on a tough ACC foe.
Despite the distractions it faced, the team came through with a big win against the Tigers, with Oliveira clinching the 4-3 victory by winning his match.
“(Senior day) is always really emotional, especially with these guys who have been through so many tough matches and have given all they can to the school,” Thompson said. “Our guys wanted to go out on a good note, and Lucas really came through for us.”
For the seniors, the final regular season match of their career was an emotional one.