NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It has been a season of firsts for the Lipscomb women’s tennis team.
Under the direction of first-year head coach Jamie Aid the Lady Bisons have several achievements that have eluded previous women’s tennis teams in the NCAA era.
This weekend they qualified for the Atlantic Sun Conference Tennis Tournament for the first time in team history. As the No. 6 seed they will face No. 3 seed Florida Gulf Coast Thursday at the University of North Florida.
The Lady Bisons finished the regular season with 10 victories, the most by a Lipscomb women’s tennis team in the NCAA era. They opened the season undefeated at home in indoor matches, also a first.
In mid-March the Lady Bisons did something no athletic team at Lipscomb has done. They paused for a couple of days during their season for a mission trip to help the homeless of Atlant.
Back in the fall Aid and strength and conditioning coach Jon Flinn told the girls the 2013-2014 season was going to be different. During a fall schedule of training and matches that were both physically and mentally draining that statement may have appeared overly optimistic in the minds of some players.
“We told the girls in the fall that we would be a team that writes a story of firsts for this program,” Aid said. “We told the girls we would push them hard both on and off the court.
“This group bought into the mentality of hard work. We worked so hard in the fall because we had to make sure our girls had the physical strength to accomplish the results. “
Aid stresses that the key to this season , and the future of the program, is changing the culture. The first building block of that culture change was the rigorous fall work.
“The girls saw the result of their hard work with the first dual matches in January,” Aid said. “This has been an exciting yet challenging road.
“They have accomplished a 10-win record for the first time in program history and are now in the conference tournament. We are looking forward as a group to write the end of our story for the 2013-14 season. “
Only six players are on the roster this season, the minimum needed to have a player available for each match. There are no seniors on the team. Aid credits the work of Flinn with keeping the players fit and healthy this season.
Jenny Borck at No. 4 has 11 wins overall and is 3-5 in the A-Sun.
Lorena Djunik at No. 5 has 10 wins and is also 3-5 in the conference. Laura Kent at No. 3 has 11 victories overall and is 3-3 in conference matches.
“This is a special group,” Aid said. “This group has had a tremendous amount of support from the athletic department, faculty, parents and fans.”