NEWARK, N.J. - After over a week’s worth of rest, the Lipscomb men’s tennis team gears up for the start of ASUN Conference play this week with matches against NJIT and USC-Upstate.
Lipscomb (4-7) was only able to play one match during spring break last week, but they’ve won consecutive matches for the first time this season.
“We've won our last two matches and I know the guys are feeling good going into conference,” Lipscomb head coach Mario Hernandez said. “They're ready to take on the challenges ahead and have prepared well the past week.”
The Bisons begin conference play on Thursday as they travel to take on NJIT. The Highlanders enter conference play with a 6-6 record, having won two of their last three matches.
Meanwhile, USC-Upstate comes into the weekend with a 4-10 record and has won just once in their last six outings.
Despite what records may indicate, Hernandez knows every match is a challenge in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
“Fortunately, every team in the Atlantic Sun is a good team,” Hernandez said. “NJIT and Upstate will be tough challenges on the road, but they'll bring the best level out of us. I’m looking forward to this road trip.”
The Bisons will attempt to build upon the momentum gained from their last two outings, but Hernandez doesn’t want his team to focus on their past results.
“It's definitely a positive in terms of confidence and shows that our guys have a better understanding and are perfecting what they do on the court,” Hernandez said. “But in each match, nobody cares about the last one you played, so we'll be expecting to earn our next victory. They don't come easy, but that's why they're worth it.”
While the stakes are a bit higher in conference play, Hernandez doesn’t want his players changing what they’ve done to this point this season.
“I’ve told them to do nothing different than what you've been doing all season,” Hernandez said. “Just focus on executing your game a little bit better each practice and in the matches. The results will take care of themselves.”
Lipscomb will be 10 days removed from their last match when they hit the courts at 5 p.m. in at NJIT. Hernandez is confident his guys are ready to get back in action.
“The practices have been great, but I think guys are ready for the competition,’ Hernandez said. “Thursday can't come soon enough.”