NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Lipscomb men’s tennis team looks to improve upon their three-match win streak on Friday as it starts conference play against Florida Gulf Coast.
The match will begin at 11 a.m. at Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center on the Lipscomb campus.
The Bisons (6-6) enter the week after a successful spring break trip to New Orleans last week that saw a 4-2 win over Texas-Rio Grande Valley.
The defending Atlantic Sun champion Eagles come to Nashville at 10-5, winning a close 4-3 match against Texas-San Antonio in their last outing. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center on the Lipscomb campus.
Despite opening conference play with the defending conference champions, head coach Mario Hernandez knows this will be no more challenging than any other conference opponent.
“Honestly, I don’t see much of a difference because really our conference is very strong in terms of tennis and every single match is going to be a tough one,” Hernandez said. “There’s no working into conference play. Every single one of them is going to be tough.”
The start of conference play can often cause players to focus on wins and losses, but Hernandez wants his guys to focus on their play over results.
“It definitely helps if you get that first match victory, but honestly, it doesn’t matter really in the grand scheme of things,” Hernandez said. “What really matters is playing your best tennis, continuing to develop which will in turn help you to give yourself the best chance to qualify for the conference tournament.”
Having won their last three matches, Lipscomb brings confidence into the week. The wins are a testament to the progress that the Bisons have made during the season.
Hernandez likes the progress he’s seen and continues to look for his team to improve.
“We’ve really bounced back well after playing some really tough schools,” Hernandez said. “I think that confidence that you’ve been on the winning side more than the losing side definitely helps.
“I feel like we are definitely better than we were at the start of the year which is great. It’s what we wanted, every single week to be improving.” Honestly, I still think we have a lot of room to improve. We want it to be where we expect to be in the conference tournament at the end of the season. And we expect that where we are now compared to by that time we’re even better. We want our guys to continue to focus on developing.”