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Lady Bisons set for first-ever conference tournament

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
by Mark McGee

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons are just happy to be in the six-team field for the Atlantic Sun Conference Tennis Championships.

Thursday afternoon at 11 a.m. the No. 6-seeded Lady Bisons, 10-10, 3-5 in the conference, will face Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 3 seed with a 13-7 overall record, 6-2 in the A-Sun.

The tournament is being played on North Florida’s campus.

This is the first time the Lady Bisons have qualified for the conference tournament. Aid is confident it won’t be their last.

“We were very process-minded this year,” first year head coach Jamie Aid said. “We have used the word `finish’ all year. We have not let up. You have to finish in practice before you can finish a match.”

Both teams have put together strong seasons. The 10 victories by the Lady Bisons this season are the most for the program since the NCAA era began. The six conference wins are a school record for FGCU.

The Lady Bisons fell 6-1 to Florida Gulf Coast April 6. Aid likes the chances for the Lady Bisons even though FGCU has a 7-0 overall series record against the Lady Bisons.

The Lady Bisons have lost their last six matches. FGCU has won its last five.

“We played them at home and swept them in doubles,” Aid said. “We came out in singles with very little energy for whatever reason.

“It should be a competitive match. It should be a match that is winnable for us if we approach it a certain way.”

The Lady Bisons are led by Laura Kent, a unanimous selection to the A-Sun All-Freshman Team with an 11-7 record, 3-3 in the conference.  Also in double figures in wins for the Lady Bisons are Jenny Borck at 11-9 and Lorena Djuknic at 10-9.

Djuknic and Sierra Troxel are both 3-4 in conference singles matches. Borck is 3-5.

“We have been working on changing our mentality and letting the girls know that we are going in a different direction and that we plan on being competitive,” Aid said. “We can’t approach a match and play average.

“It is a young group. Their engagement is huge. They have to be mentally focused. They all have to have good matches if we are going to move on. Everyone has to do her job.”

The Lady Bisons do not have a senior on the six-man roster. Aid doesn’t think that is a disadvantage.

“It has been easier to change the culture with such a young team,” Aid said. “We told the girls the other day that they are no longer freshmen, sophomore or juniors.

“They have to approach every ball with the right mentality. They have to show their maturity.”

Live stats will be available at lipscombsports.com.