Men's tennis ready for first road trip
Friday, February 5, 2016
By Todd Lamberth
Men's tennis ready for first road trip

ATLANTA, Ga. - The Lipscomb men’s tennis team hits the road for the first time this spring this weekend. The Bisons travel to Atlanta to face Georgia State on Saturday before they face Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Sunday.

The Bisons weekend begins at 4 p.m. Saturday against the Panthers of Georgia State. Georgia State enters the weekend at 2-1 after winning their last two matches.

Lipscomb head coach Mario Hernandez likes the competition level that these matches present.

“Both are tough teams,” Hernandez said. “These are the teams that we want to play. These are the teams that are going to be similar to the teams we’ll see in conference. We’re in a strong conference so we need to be challenged. We need to be pushed.”

Following that match, they’ll travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the Crimson Tide. The Bisons serve as the first leg for what will be a doubleheader for Alabama. The Tide enter the weekend at 5-2, winning five of their last six. The Bisons saw Alabama during the fall at the Commodore Scramble, where they experienced some success. Alejandro Manzanares, Daniel Cardenas and Philippe Courteau all picked up wins against Alabama at the event.

“Not only did we play them, but we had guys win matches against them and play very well,” Hernandez said. “That should give our guys confidence. It always helps to know that not only did you compete, but you got over the hill and ended up getting a victory.

“That being said, it’s a new match and a new day. We’ve got to really make sure that we prepare well this week so that we’re throwing everything that we can at them on Sunday.”

While this is the first road trip of the spring for the Bisons, Hernandez isn’t worried about the travel.

“The road trips, for the overall college experience, are probably the most memorable part,” Hernandez said. “The focus is always on the tennis. The time off the court helps them to relax before and after the matches. It’s a nice distraction away from it.”

Hernandez sees this weekend as another opportunity for his team to improve, still early in the season.

“Every single match this season we should take something, whether we did something well or did something poorly, whichever it is, and improve from that,” Hernandez said. “One of the things we learned from this past weekend and want to get better at is just being even more assertive with our game.

“That’s what we want them to keep training at. We want them to have no hesitation and go after your shot.”