Even though their 2019-2020 season was cut short, LSU Women's Tennis hasn't lost any motivation, training intensely and improving significantly over the past few months.
They have returned to normal practices this week and look to continue improving as the fall season quickly approaches.
It’s been a difficult few months for the team, with the teammates separated from each other. Taylor Bridges, a senior from Mesa, Arizona, was happy to spend time with her family, but missed her teammates tremendously.
“It put it into perspective how lucky we are to be here and just how much the team means to us,” Bridges said.
LSU was amidst an impressive run when the college sports world suddenly halted on March 12th. Despite the pandemic spoiling the team’s promisi…
It’s been a sad time for Bridges and the team, but it has not gotten in the way of their training. Bridges spent all her off-time training, whether it was running, doing drills with her dad, playing against guys from Arizona State or doing workouts that assistant strength and conditioning coach, Reneé Balconi, gave the players to do at home.
Bridges certainly was not the only player to work hard throughout this summer. Coach Michael Sell was proud of his entire team, stating that with the team being back after months of training by themselves, it has been apparent how much work they put into training just by watching them practice.
“They’ve been very proactive, and professional in the sense that they stayed ambitious,” Sell said. “They wanted to come back and maintain the high level in which we ended with.”
Maintaining the high level they had last season would have been difficult had they not taken their training seriously over the extended summer. The Tigers were a top-25 team last year and at one point had a seven-game win streak that extended through the entire month of February.
But because they put in a lot of effort, they now have a chance to surpass that level, with everyone returning and two new freshmen joining the team. The team is in a great position, and Coach Sell believes they are in mid-season form.
“They are equally as energized [now as they are] during the season and they are ready to get back to competition immediately,” Sell stated.
The team is elated to be back in Baton Rouge, practicing and preparing for fall. Taylor Bridges expressed this, describing how great it is being back with the coaches and players, energized and ready to win.
“Everyone is excited to be back and there’s a good energy with the team,” said Bridges. “It’s really good to get back to things and I'm excited for our fall matches coming up soon.”
Despite all the unknowns of this year, including if we were even going to have fall sports, the team never quit trying to improve. With the team back at practice and fall play at least a month away, they will only get better from here.