The De La Salle Tennis teams look to improve their standing this Season 80, after ending last season with mixed results. The Green Tennisters earned a spot on the podium as they took home third place with a 5-5 win-loss record in Season 79, while the Lady Tennisters concluded theirs on a disappointing note, finishing last year with a 1-7 standing. Both teams have worked hard since then with hopes of a dominant season on the horizon.
Keeping the momentum going
Finishing in third place last season, team captain Kyle Parpan shares how the team has learned from their mistakes and will make sure that these will no longer be an issue to them once they enter the season. Also, making the jump from last place in Season 78 to third in Season 79 has given the team confidence to once again make a jump up the standings. “I know finishing in third place might not be a big deal for some people but the results of last season united each member of the team. It gave us the confidence to push ourselves and do much better this season,” Parpan explains.
Although their training sessions aren’t that different compared to last year’s, the team pushed the intensity, execution, and quality of these practices and set goals for themselves to accomplish in order to prepare for the upcoming season. Getting to the top will not be easy but Parpan believes that each player is even more prepared this time around. “The challenges we will face is how we can all fight to win each point and how difficult it will be to stay tough and strong,” he states.
While every team is strong and hungry for the title, the captain concludes with a positive note saying that he and the team just have to focus on one game at a time. “We will see what we have to do to improve, execute our plans, control what we can, and then take as much wins as we can in order to win as a team.”
After finishing last place in Season 79, the Lady Tennisters look to redeem themselves as they enter the season with high hopes. The captain of the Lady Tennisters, Rachelle De Guzman, explains that the team was lucky in terms of the match-ups last season but always fell just short of bringing home the victory. According to her, this time around, her team focused more on consistency in its training in order to prepare for Season 80.
With three new faces in their lineup, De Guzman thinks that it will be a challenge since there are only a few veteran players left on the team, including herself. Although her team is young, she believes that everyone on the team can step up their game and earn points for the team. “I’ve seen my teammates’ improvements not just in their skills, but as a person in general,” she shares.
Despite the contrasting finishes by both the Green and Lady Tennisters, coach Roland Kraut remains neutral with his expectations for the two teams.
Kraut expresses that there are different factors that can either hinder or motivate both teams during this season. One of these possible motivations is the fact that multiple members of the tennis team will be playing out their eligibility in Season 80.
To win this year, Kraut says that graduating players Parpan and LA Cañizires of the Green Tennisters and De Guzman of the women’s team will be key players in this year’s championship quest. He also adds that he expects a lot from veterans like Betto Orendain, Qoqo Allian, Jenni Dizon, Jed Aquino and returning player Nikki Arandia.
According to Kraut, for the men, the team to watch out for is UE, which placed first in last year’s tournament, as it was anchored by national team player, AJ Lim. Meanwhile, the Lady Tennisters will be looking out for UST, as it will be using the same lineup it used in Season 79. Both teams, however, will be without a foe as both NU’s men’s and women’s team will not participate in this year’s tournament.
Overall, coach Kraut has high hopes this season but does not want his players to feel the pressure of high expectations. “We’re not guaranteeing any finishes, we’re not foreseeing anything, I don’t want to put that pressure on them,” the coach says.
This year, Kraut believes that all schools have a chance to win and that hard work from each player on the team will be the difference between a successful and disappointing season. The coach states, “We need everyone’s effort and training to push and to ease the pressure on those who need to play the big matches. Everybody’s role is important and they need to embrace that; they can’t just rely on the top players because the time will come wherein they will play a very important match.”