The 2018-19 women’s tennis campaign ended with a sour taste when the team was sent home packing, after losing to top-seeded Nichols College in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) semifinals. The Hawks ended up in the middle of the pack of the CCC, but were able to gain valuable experience throughout the season with a roster full of freshmen. The same pattern continues for the Hawks this year as they bring in three new first-year students.
Early team success through two sweeps against Simmons University and Worcester State University can be attributed to a number of reasons. Yet, senior Tri-Captain Riley Spillane credits the newcomers for the team’s success so far.
“I think we can attribute our strong start to our new freshmen. They are amazing people and players. Alessia Cahoon is playing at number one singles and having such a strong freshman in that position is helping our team immensely,” Spillane said.
Although it is still early on in the season, the Hawks find themselves tied with Endicott College for first in the CCC after being picked to finish third during preseason. For the most part, however, preseason rankings don’t seem to phase the Hawks.
“Hopefully we can finish higher, especially with the help of our freshmen, but it’s too early to tell because we have not even played any conference matches yet," Spillane said
Senior Tri-Captain Jessica Magliato mentioned the motivation these rankings bring to the team.
“I feel that the ranking we got in the CCC will motivate us to push ourselves to get further this season," Magliato said. "I am confident that the team will advance further in the CCC tournament."
Besides avoiding injuries, which plagued the Hawks by taking down key members of their team throughout last season, the biggest challenge for the team can be seen through the conference schedule. Specifically, the obstacles include matches against Nichols and Endicott, who were respectively ranked first and second in the conference preseason poll. In the last two years, the Hawks have lost to both teams in the semifinals.
Perhaps it is summed up best by Magliato, who said, “Every year we battle against the top teams in the CCC tournament, and every year the outcome is the same on our end. I feel that if we use our past experiences and come together as a team, as a family, nothing can hold us back from what we want the outcome of the season to be.”