Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A look at the tennis off-season from women's tennis player Rachel Smith

Professor Cole Thompson at McMurry is sponsoring a few students who are interested in journalism and newspaper writing. Thoughout the school year, he worked with students to study the styles of journalistic print, and Rachel Smith (a junior in 2009-10 from Sweetwater) wrote an article following the 2008-09 tennis season. Smith happens to be a member of the women's team as well.

Here is Smith's article:

After a successful 2008-09 season, the McMurry men’s and women’s tennis teams look forward to more experience and improvement in the rankings for 2009-2010.

Head Coach Mark Hathorn is excited to build on last season’s men’s American Southwest Conference West Division title (the first in school history).

“After doing so well last season, now we’re going to be working on a national ranking,” Hathorn said.

As for the women, Hathorn said he is looking forward to going back to the conference tournament.

“We’re only losing one player and we are gaining a lot of experience,” he said.

With 12 returning players and eight new recruits, Hathorn said hopes for next season are high.

The team is also enjoying ongoing construction on the Seidel-Swagerty Tennis Center, McMurry's tennis facility. Six new courts should make for better practices and a better hosting site. McMurry hosted the 2009 ASC Championships thanks to an impressive men’s season. In addition, renovations on the tennis offices and clubhouse should help add a place for players and guests to relax.

Players are excited as they prepare for the upcoming season. Returning junior Tony Williams said. “We experienced great success with the McMurry tennis team. I'm extremely excited to continue the winning tradition in 2009-10.”

The women are looking forward to developing their team in preparation for a more successful season after making the ASC Postseason Tournament. Sophomore Shelby Carpenter said she has enjoyed the experience as a member of the team.

“I love playing for McMurry,” Carpenter said. "The coaches are awesome, and the team as a whole is incredibly fun to be around. We all work hard, and this year the girls are going to put in more effort in order to prove ourselves and make it back to Conference.”

Fans should expect a promising season from the McMurry tennis team. Both men and women will kick off their non-traditional seasons at the ACU Wal-Mart Open September 11-12.

Great job Rachel and we'll look forward to more projects in the coming months.

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