NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons tennis team would like to see the success they have enjoyed indoors this season translate to their outdoor matches.
Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. they open the outdoor portion of the schedule when Southern Illinois visits the Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center. The Lady Bisons are 6-3. Southern Illinois, the winner of its last seven matches, is 7-3.
The Lady Bisons were unbeaten at home this season in four matches for the first time ever in indoor competition. It is the best start of the season overall for the program.
“We want those matches to give us confidence, but we don’t want to think we are better than anybody else,” Aid said. “We are big on the approach that once the match is over the next day we reset 0-0.
“We know all our matches are going to be dogfights. This year we are in the dogfights which is different than last year. We are not in the position where we are going to blow everybody out of the water. We have to have the same mentality in each match. There can be no let up.”
Aid is pleased to see that her young team, with two juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen, bought into the intense workouts of the fall in both practices and in the weight room. Wins and losses were not the primary concern.
The theme starting in the fall and continuing this season is “finish, finish, finish”.
“It was overly hard for them to be O.K. with losing this past fall,” Aid said. “In order to be successful this spring they had to sacrifice some results in the fall. Not caring about the wins and losses on the individual side impacted the team positively.
“They bought into it. Nobody complained. They had a good mentality. And that first weekend this spring, when we played and won against UT-Martin and Belmont, they saw the results fast.”
The goal of finishing is simple. Aid wants her players to get better and better with each match.
“They knew every day in the fall what we were about,” Aid said. “They finished in practice. They finished in the weight room.
“We want to continue to get better and better. We want to finish every match. As we move on into the season those improvements get smaller and smaller. We are seeing smaller leaps, but it pertains to off the court too with grades.”
The Lady Bisons have not played a match since Feb. 27, but that doesn’t mean they have been sitting on the sidelines.
“We took two days off to rest and then we started practicing again,” Aid said. “We hadn’t been very technical with them because we had been going from match-to-match.
“We have had time to make some small tweaks with players that we have addressed in the past couple of weeks. We have been more technical. We have changed things on the technical side and not just the game plan side.”
Aid has stressed the idea that every player is a leader.
“They have all bought into supporting each other,” Aid said. “They have really bonded together well. We are teaching this group how to be mature at a young age because they all have to step up.”
“I call Jenny Borck and Deahna Welcher the silent leaders. They do a good job of leading by example. Lorena Djuknic is a very vocal leader. Every one of them is different in how they choose to lead.”
There are several differences in how players prepare for outdoor matches after playing so many matches indoors.
“The ball is a lot faster indoors,” Aid said. “There are more equalizers outdoors like the sun and the wind.
“Indoors is a faster-paced game. Outdoors is slower so you are looking on developing your points a little bit more.”
Aid thinks her players are suited for success in the outdoor matches.
“They want to see the process to developing a point, being able to be patient,” Aid said. “They all have their individual games plans. They all know their strengths.
“You have to be patient in deciding which ball to put away. It is the difference between switching from defense to offense and being smart about it.”