Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Tennis

LBSU women’s tennis starts off their season at the UNLV tournament

The Long Beach State women’s tennis team dominated its competition last season under head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello, and they look more than prepared to do the same this season.

After finishing with an overall record of 17-6, including a 6-2 record in the Big West Conference, LBSU made it into the Big West Tournament where they were eliminated by UC Santa Barbara in the second round last season. Riddled with injuries throughout the season, the team never reached its full potential, an issue addressed by deepening the roster this year, according to Hilt-Costello.

“I’m really excited about this season, we’ve got five new freshman, so there’s a

whole new energy on this team right now,”  Hilt-Costello said. “We’ve got a lot of talent; I think this is the most depth we’ve had in our lineup in the last two to three years.”

LBSU will be hitting off the semester with the UNLV tournament in Las Vegas on Friday that will last until Sunday. Hilt-Costello wishes to assess her roster’s capabilities, and identify any areas for improvement in the team’s first tournament of the season.

Some of the key matchups this season for LBSU are against Hawai’i (Feb. 10) and UC Santa Barbara (March 31), which are home and away matches, respectively.

“We took some losses to them last year in some really tight matches where we could have come out ahead so I think there is going to be a little bit of revenge on our minds there,” said Hilt-Costello.

It was clear that Hilt-Costello and her players are eager and excited to get back in and win the tough matches, hopefully providing a momentum boost throughout the season.

The roster has three familiar faces this year in senior Lena Pacholski, and sophomores Natalia Munoz and Maren Helgo, who will be joined by five new freshman on the team.

“I feel like the freshman this year are on a really high level and have made our team more complete.” Pacholski said.

This team seems to have a lot of good chemistry going into this season and the older players really want to be leaders for the younger players.

“Now that I am one of the older people on the team, I really want to fill that leadership role that last year’s seniors were to me.” Munoz said.

Armed with an overall more youthful roster, and with a great mix of older players to help mentor and develop the incoming freshman on the team, look out for LBSU to make waves in the Big West Tournament this season. The first conference matchup will be on Jan. 26, 2018 at UC Riverside.

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