William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist
The University of Lynchburg Men’s Tennis Team is training to ensure they are able to return to competitive play.
Head Coach Christopher Johnson, said, “Our practice format has not really changed due to fluctuations in case count on campus with the coronavirus.”
Johnson also said, “Our players do a great job of working out and playing over the summer. I was immensely proud that they were in great shape when they returned this fall despite the circumstances.”
He said, “Serving and returning is all about starting the point with a purpose. We do put a high priority here. Our objective is to make the other player work as hard as possible and that is unable to happen if we do not start the point.”
Johnson’s captains and players are looking forward to competing at an intercollegiate level soon. Men’s tennis co-captain, Colton Mullins, said, “We are extremely excited to be getting back into competition and are looking forward to the Spring of 2021. Until then, we are just pushing each other and keeping our guys accountable. We are making sure that we get the time we need on court and in the weight room to be successful.”
Even though the remainder of the calendar year of 2020 for the men’s tennis team is devoid of intercollegiate competition, the men’s tennis team has enjoyed a new form of competition this semester with intrasquad games.
Mullins said, “We continuously have intrasquad competitions to help us keep our competitive edge. We have already competed in the Hornet Cup, and we found that experience enormously rewarding. The Hornet Cup increased what is always at stake when we play competitions because the Hornet Cup enabled us to get into a competitive gameday mindset which we have been missing recently due to the pandemic.”
The captains of Johnson’s team have a motto that every moment on the University of Lynchburg Men’s Tennis Team is their best moment.
Co-captain Daniel Christian said, “My best moment at the University of Lynchburg is the team chemistry we have year in and year out. We have been faced with adversity as any team is, and we overcome it well. This is more than a team because I view this team as my forever family. Because of the chemistry, we work harder than any team I have been a part of. This is because we do not want to let each other down, and we will do anything it takes to get a win for our teammates and university. This keeps me motivated. After twelve years of tennis year-round, some days it is hard to have high motivation. However, my teammates make me give my best efforts. Even last season when I was injured, I was so motivated to get back so I could compete with my teammates. The close bond we have is something I will cherish forever.”
Christian hoped that students would, “be careful during this time, do not do anything reckless during a pandemic. However, keep working hard, you can practice and stay safe. The tennis team is taking precautions, but also putting in the necessary work to ensure this spring we are more than ready to compete and bring home wins for the Hornets.”