A high-end season for the women's tennis team closed with a defeat to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette two weeks ago in the Sun Belt Championship.
The winning record of 10-8 for the Eagles had its highs and lows over the season. The team seemed one match short of making something special happen, but a lot of good came from this year that will set the way for the future.
"The girls did a really good job dealing with adversity," head coach Michelle Stanford said. "They did a really good job staying focused, allowing them to stay strong."
The team had a freshman phenom, Anne Kurzweil, who went undefeated in singles play this season. She was awarded Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and also awarded a position on the All-Conference Second Team.
"Anne plays with a lot of poise," Stanford said. "If she's losing, you'd never notice. She has a strong sense of determination. That is something really great about her."
Only the sole senior on the team, Jordana Klein, will be leaving the Eagles next year. She played at the No. 1 spot this season. Her departure will set the Eagles back a bit, but they know to keep moving forward.
"Before we started this year, the team had high expectations," Stanford said. When asked about next year, Stanford said, "It'll be different because we have a history in the Sun Belt. It'll help the team feel more prepared."
Before regulated play began in January, the Eagles recorded their team goals and individual goals. Every couple of weeks, the girls would check in to see their progress and where they were at. This helped keep the team level-headed and balanced, which accounts for part of their success this year.
Confidence and having a strong mentality were very important for the season. It helped lead the Eagles to a positive record and take them in the right direction.
Stanford said, "We went in blind to this competition. But knowing this team can win any match, and will win any match--it makes a huge difference."