JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After dropping their conference opener last week, the Lipscomb men’s tennis team travels to Florida this week looking to get back on track.
The Bisons (6-8, 0-1) lost to defending Atlantic Sun champion Florida Gulf Coast on Friday in a tight 4-3 match before dropping a 4-2 match to defending Ohio Valley champions Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.
Coming off of two tough loses to strong opponents last week, Lipscomb head coach
Lipscomb coach Mario Hernandez feels his team has responded well in preparation of this week’s matches.
“I think the guys know that they have some great opportunities ahead of them, but that we have to make the most of them and quickly,” Hernandez said. “I think this team has been through a lot the last couple of years and I expect their character to come out and for us to perform well for the rest of the season.”
They look to get back in the win column on Thursday against North Florida before they face Stetson on Saturday.
North Florida (5-10, 0-1) enters Thursday’s matchup coming off of a 6-1 loss to No. 53 Pepperdine on Sunday. The Ospreys topped the Bisons 4-1 in Nashville last season. The 5 p.m. matchup serves as the first of three conference opponents for North Florida over the weekend.
Lipscomb will turnaround to face Stetson at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Hatters (9-8, 2-0) have won five of their last six matches, including 4-3 wins over USC-Upstate and NJIT to begin conference play last week. Stetson picked up a 5-2 win over the Bisons a year ago.
Hernandez knows the talent level for Florida-based teams is always high, but feels his team has been preparing all season for these matchups.
“Typically, all the Florida teams are going to be strong,” Hernandez said. “We know they’re going to be challenging teams. They’re teams that we’ve seen before, and we’ve played against tough competition all season, so that’s not going to be anything new for us.
“We need to bring our best to give ourselves the best opportunity to win. Our guys know that. That’s what we’ve been preparing for all year and this is going to be a fun opportunity this weekend.”