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  • Ian Livingston Brooking

Coastal Men's & Women's tennis looks to build off of last season

After a tough road loss to Furman on Wednesday, Jan. 17, the women’s tennis team looks to regroup and prepare for their next match against UNC-Wilmington on Feb. 1.

Assistant Head Coach Emma Hall talked about what was learned from the 6-1 defeat.

“Furman is going to be a very good school, so it was good to give the exposure to our younger players,” said Hall. “We had some bright spots on the day, and it certainly exposed some of our weaknesses for us to work on.”

Catharine Hewitt is entering her seventh year as the head coach of the Coastal Carolina women’s tennis team, and she talked about what was lost and gained after last season’s seniors left and new recruits came in.

“You can’t measure how much Ramona and Maria meant to us last season,” said Hewitt. “They were leaders and they put points on the scoreboards, but our recruiting class this year is superb. They are hard workers, they have good leadership skills and we are very pleased.”

While tennis doesn’t attract the crowds that football would bring, Hewitt believes that the courts at the Delan and Lynn Stevens Tennis Complex gives her players a great advantage.

“I like to think that we have a huge advantage at home,” said Hewitt. “Our courts are a little bit slower and it was designed that way, so you would definitely have to battle in the humidity. Our players enjoy it a lot.”

Hall believes that this team can make a run in the postseason, but that isn’t the main goal.

“I think the main goal is for each of our players to go out and keep getting better each week,” said Hall. “In the beginning, we try to focus more on the process than on the results.”

On the men’s side of things, the program is looking to avoid the ups and downs that came with last season.

Head Coach Chris Powers, who is in his 14th season as head coach of the men’s program, believes that this team won’t have the same problems as last season.

“I think what we have gained in the latest recruiting class is that these guys have really bought into the whole team concept,” said Powers. “We had ups and downs in regards to chemistry and, this year, we aren’t having those challenges. We might not be as talented or as experienced, but we have the potential to be more of a tighter unit that is going to get it done when it matters the most when the team part of things come into play.”

The men’s tennis team lost three seniors last senior but Powers brought on Sebastian Schneider nearly three months after his final match as a Chanticleer in April of 2017.

Powers talked about what Schneider adds to the staff as a coach and as someone who knows the returning members from last year’s team.

“Sebastian is here because is very professional, and I really wanted him here,” said Powers. “He was very professional on the court as a player, and he has done a good job in making that transition from player to coach. He is very assertive and he commands respect from the guys, and I think the one thing I was really excited about having him on our staff is that he is excellent on the court and, if I need a guy to jump in on the court to help with practice, he can do that.”

Francesco Cori Gamero, a sophomore from Lima, Peru, talked about what he hopes to better in his playing style this season for the team.

“I want to be a lot louder,” said Cori Gamero. “It was something I struggled with last season, whether it was cheering for my teammates or being vocal on the court. I also want to finish with a winning record in my matches.”

Cori Gamero finished his freshman year with a 3-5 record in his singles matches and 6-5 in his doubles appearances.

The men’s tennis program opens their season on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at Wake Forest, the number one team in the country.

Powers believes that this match will be extremely beneficial for his players.

“Wake Forest is going to expose everything for us and that will help us know what we need to work on in preparation for the next match,” said Powers. “The experience will also give our players more confidence going into Sun Belt play.”

The women’s program will play at home for the first time in the 2018 season on Feb. 10 against Georgia State while the men’s program will be in action at home on Sunday, Jan. 28 against Eastern Washington.

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