The Atlantic Coast Conference Championships will not only prove to be a battleground for the men and women of Miami tennis, but a chance for redemption. As each approaches the end of its seasons, the tournament will be the final opportunity for dominance for the women and respect for the men.
The women outplayed each ACC stronghold except for the last match of their season when they fell to Georgia Tech 4-3, the team’s first loss in conference play, dropping its overall record to 18-3 and 9-1 in the ACC. After their loss the ‘Canes have a definite chance to upset teams as they have done before. Leading the women are seniors Megan Bradley and Staci Stevens, who will be integral in the success of the team.
“I believe we’ve had the most success this season than any other time in my four years here, so I think we have a good chance of winning the ACC Championship,” Stevens said.
Bradley, ranked No.1 in the ITA rankings, gives the Hurricanes a major edge over other teams in the ACC.
“We are very excited to go to the ACC Championships. Our goal is to win it,” said Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk. “It’s going to be a tough tournament there is a lot of competition in the ACC. There’s possibly three teams that can bring home the title, but we just have to be better than them.”
For the men, the ACC Championships is not just another competition but an opportunity to take back what they gave up during the season, a couple of close 4-3 matches that didn’t go in their favor. Looking forward to their upcoming play, the men need more than desire to win; they must have a real competitive drive.
“We are looking forward to play in the ACC Championships,” said Head Coach Mario Rincon. “This season we had a lot of games that could have gone either way but we lost it. We need to capitalize on our opponents because we have nothing to lose and they do.”
Among these upsetting defeats were the losses to Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Duke and Virginia. Though most of these matches were close, the lack of the follow through in the singles matches and the need to clinch the doubles point decided the outcomes.
Improvement in these aspects will lead the men to better play.
“I really think we have a good chance to come back on the teams that beat us. The ACC Championships gives us this chance and we are going to take it,” sophomore Josh Cohen said.
The ACC Championships for both the men and women will be held in Cary, N.C., beginning Thursday.
“The most important part of our season is just ahead of us,” said junior Eric Hechtman. “It’s going to be three days of tough play, and we are going to have to play even better tennis.”
Antoinette Cordova can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.