The men’s and women’s tennis teams’ regular seasons have concluded, and while seniors on both teams were sad to play their final home games in Arlington, they said they were hungry for postseason success.
“I’m excited about it,” senior Angeles de los Rios said. “We want the title, we want the ring. We have that extra willingness to win, because we’ve lost three times.”
One of three seniors on the women’s tennis team, de los Rios was a member of one team that reached the Sun Belt Conference finals and two more teams that reached the semifinals. She said the Mavericks are playing at the right pace.
“We’re playing good,” de los Rios said. “We didn’t have the best start we could have had, but we got better. I trust every single one of my teammates, so when I get out there on the court, I feel free.”
While the women’s team is motivated by the failures of years past, the men’s team is looking to build upon a winning tradition.
The Mavericks won the 2016 Sun Belt Championship, and senior Jhonathan Gonzalez said the Mavericks have confidence they can bring home another trophy.
“We did a very good job this season overall,” he said. “We’re at a level now where we’re confident, at this point, we’re playing a really high level of tennis.”
Gonzalez said the Mavericks will have the same mindset they had last year; playing one match at a time and believe they can beat any team they face.
Head coach Diego Benitez highlighted Georgia State University and University of South Alabama as front runners alongside the Mavericks.
“It’s a very tough conference,” Benitez said. “At this point, it’s just about getting our guys ready.”
While the mindset remains the same for the Mavericks, Gonzalez said he believes the team can raise its game to another level.
“What I would like the most my senior year is for us to play even better than last year,” he said.