Having a smaller team can be a struggle for any collegiate sport athlete, but junior Caroline Bristol is stepping up to the plate for the Mercyhurst women’s tennis team and is making a huge impact.
Their season is off to a promising start with a record of 2-0 so far, with a successful win against Allegheny College and Robert Morris last weekend.
“I ended up playing my best against the second seat during singles, but lost against the number one seat in the quarterfinals during our doubles match. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year,” Bristol said.
Being only one of two juniors and holding a singles record of 2-0, and a record of 1-1 in doubles, Bristol is standing out.
“So far, I think I have really improved. We’re practicing really hard on the court, giving it 110% percent. I practiced on the court everyday this summer that really helped in stepping up my game for this year,” Bristol said.
During the match at Allegheny College, the women’s singles bracket started with 30 participants, but Bristol was one of four players left, fighting for a spot in the rankings.
“During practices we warm up, and we match off against each other. We work on volleying, short balls and trying to focus on our techniques. I usually try to work on ground strokes, serving, and my consistency,” Bristol said.
The Lakers are working hard, practicing hard, and with only nine players, trying to make this season an unforgettable one.
“As a team I would like us to make nationals. We were really close to it last year so that is just giving us motivation to work harder. Also, we’d definitely like to beat IUP and Slippery Rock,” Bristol said.
“Our competition is definitely tough this year, but we have a really great line-up and a lot of advantages. Our single’s line-up is really tough all the way through, rather other teams get easier as it goes down after the first and second seat,” Bristol said.
The Lakers play all the way until April, so they are constantly challenging themselves and reaching new goals.
“Everyone is putting out a good effort. Courtney Thompson who is number two in singles is doing well. The team is just playing really great and we work so well together,” Bristol said.
The next chance to see the Lakers play in action is against Penn State Behrend on Sept. 26.