Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Tennis team serves up new season

Frederico Mercado, economics junior, attempts to return the tennis ball to the other side of the court. The tennis team’s next tournament will be on Feb. 27 against Tougaloo University in Jackson, Mississippi at 11 a.m.

For the past two seasons, the Wolf Pack tennis team has come face to face with its biggest challenge: competing as an undermanned squad. However, the Pack is set to make significant strides toward a promising future.

This season, the team has added several new recruits and brought on a familiar face to help further the team’s success.

Former tennis player Meghan DeBaroncelli, A’15, is now sitting on the sideline as the assistant coach to help further the team’s success this season.

For head coach Kyle Russell, having DeBaroncelli has helped to communicate the team’s philosophy with prospective players.

“Meghan’s worth her weight in gold. She grew up in New Orleans. She knows the South, she’s played tennis in the South. She was such a great player for us that she demands instant respect from the players, which is great when you’re such a young coach,” Russell said.

The team has already played in four matches this season and Russell said he is already seeing signs of improvement from his team.

“In the fourth match against William Carey, I felt like this was the beginning of where we want to start moving from as a program. It seemed like everything came together as far as team spirit. We still have a long way to go but it was nice to see,” Russell said.

For DeBaroncelli, the transition from player to assistant coach has had its challenges.

“For me, playing was easy. As an assistant coach, watching is so tough, and sometimes trying to put into words what they should do or how they should do something is a lot harder than it would seem,” DeBaroncelli said.

Frederico Mercado, economics junior, said that having DeBaroncelli on the sidelines as a coach is a welcoming sight for him and
the team.

“She has a great perspective on how the game is played. She is familiar with the same level of competition that we’re up against. She gives us great motivation,” Mercado said.

Even with the growing pains and the growth of the players, Russell is hoping that his team continues to stay the course.

“We have to constantly remind our kids to embrace the process. We’re getting better all the time. The biggest challenge will be to remain confident and stay true to the process,” Russell said.

The team will return to the court on Feb. 27 to play Tougaloo University in Jackson, Mississippi
at 11 a.m.

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