With a new semester comes a new season for Mason athletics. The women’s tennis team kicks off their season with matches against Appalachian State University and James Madison University. While injuries have plagued the team,  they have been working hard over break  focusing on ways to stay healthy. With a packed schedule from February to April and multiple matches every weekend, staying healthy and coming out strong will be key in making it far in their season and show that they are contenders in the competitive CAA conference.

With the leadership of Coach Stephen Curtis and Senior Captain Kiersten Pappas, this experienced and talented team looks to beat tough competitors such as The United States Naval Academy, University of Delaware and George Washington University in the season.  Mason has held well against them before but look to further improve,

“We have an excellent team with an impressive freshman class,” Pappas said, “In the fall season they overcame their nervousness and stepped up. And I know that we will come out strong against tough teams and show that we are a force to be reckoned with”.

Despite the girls’ talent and hard work, the road has not been easy. Pappas only played sporadically during her sophomore and junior years due to a shoulder injury that required two surgeries. With other injuries accumulating, it was difficult to have enough girls to compete without further injuring themselves. Pappas attributes their successes to their coach’s careful attention to the girls and promoting healthy practices to prevent injuries,

“We make sure to always stretch extensively before and after practice,” Pappas said. “If we do get injured we have to go through intense rehab and be very cautious about returning too soon to the courts”.

Coach Curtis and Pappas have been excellent leaders and a great support system for the girls. While Pappas was injured she was still heavily involved with the team, helping out by coaching and being actively engaged in practices and supporting the girls. But Pappas says that the team would not be as successful without their outstanding Coach,

“Coach Curtis knows what he is talking about,” Pappas said, “He stays calm on the sidelines and guides us through the matches”.

The team has done remarkably well despite the injuries in the past few years, but with the team as healthy as it can be, it seems that everything will finally come together for the squad. Through the support of their coaches and leaders, this talented and hardworking team looks to go further in their season than ever before.