FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Lipscomb men’s tennis team gets to travel to Florida over the weekend for conference matches against Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson.
Coach Mario Hernandez feels his team is ready to take on the teams, and heat, of Florida.
“Both teams are top teams in the conference,” Hernandez said. “Our guys are prepared for them.
“The weather change here helps. Our guys just have to trust their fitness and they are fit.”
Play against Florida Gulf Coast (11-5, 2-0) will begin on Thursday at 4 p.m. FGCU will enter play on a five-match win streak, with the last two wins coming in conference play with 5-2 wins over both Kennesaw State and USC-Upstate.
Saturday’s action against Stetson (9-7, 1-1) will begin at 1 p.m. Stetson split their first two conference matches as they dropped their opening match to USC-Upstate 4-1 before beating Kennesaw State 4-2.
Lipscomb (9-8, 0-1) comes off a loss to a tough Kentucky team from the past weekend but Hernandez has been encouraged by what he has seen from his team in recent practices.
“I’m encouraged by the intensity they have shown,” Hernandez said. “They are also learning how to be better teammates and understanding the concept of being a team. They are learning that their success is dependent on the other guy’s success. They’re working together.”
Conference play brings an increase in intensity, but the Bison’s will take the same philosophy into the weekend that they’ve used all season.
“Conference play has something very evident and tangible there to play for,” Hernandez said. “The intensity and motivation turn up. It’s right there in your face what you’re playing for.
“Our goal is to go 2-0 on the weekend. We’re not going to be the program that plays it safe. We’re going to go after the win in every match. We go after the opportunities when they come up.”