Tennis Season Preview

Alex Davis

Loyola’s tennis team has its season opener Feb. 11, and Coach Zubin Engineer says he wants the team to outdo last year’s performance. He said that when it comes to available talent and skill, he said the variety of players is “the best we’ve been this year.”

This year’s match-ups will have Loyola facing new opponents as well as old rivals. The women’s team will start the season against Louisiana State University Shreveport, the first time these two teams will meet since the Loyola women’s team’s creation in 2009.

The men’s team will play rival University of Mobile later on Feb 11. Most of the team’s opponents will be fellow members of the Southern States Athletic Conference, including

University of Mobile, Spring Hill College, Belhaven University, and William Carey University, which has one of the top 15 best tennis teams in the country, Engineer said.

Psychology junior Frances Bonnin, captain of the women’s team, said that although she is “just excited to play new schools” like LSU Shreveport, she expects the season to be less predictable because of the new players.

One of the newest additions to the team is biology freshman Meghan deBaroncelli. As a Mount Carmel senior last year, deBaroncelli won state championship. When asked how she felt about her expectations for the team, she said, “I don’t know who we’re up against, but we should match up well.”

First-year law student Brian Pena said he hopes to have a good season. Last year, he had the best record for the men’s team. Pena said that the coaches deserve credit for the amount of effort devoted to their teams. “It’s all basically Zubin. He pushes us physically and mentally”, he said.

The women’s tennis team started in 2009, and one year later the men’s team was started. Loyola last had a tennis team in 1996. According to Zubin, Loyola added the team to remain part of the SSAC.

Alex Davis can be reached at [email protected]