Wait 'til next year!
They have been the rallying cries for team after team, fan after fan, year after year. Yet when the Emerson women's tennis team's season ended last Wednesday after a close 5-4 loss to Emmanuel College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinals, the two sayings seemed quite fitting.,It's not over!
Wait 'til next year!
They have been the rallying cries for team after team, fan after fan, year after year. Yet when the Emerson women's tennis team's season ended last Wednesday after a close 5-4 loss to Emmanuel College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinals, the two sayings seemed quite fitting.
The Lions began the year with a 1-4 start and eight new freshmen trying to learn the ins and outs of collegiate-level tennis. But by the end of the season, the team had mostly gelled together, their five wins in their last seven matches solid proof.
Junior Erika Rydberg spoke about the team and its future.
"We had a tough season," she said. "We're actually better this year than last because we're slowly regaining players. And most of our players this year are freshmen, so Emerson's got three years of talent to look forward to."
For the five seniors on the team, Emmanuel marked their last college match, and they did not go down without a fight. Senior captain Jodie Jordan said she was proud of the way her team played.
"It was a really good way to finish," she said. "We all fought so hard. They didn't take us seriously, but we absolutely rose to the occasion."
Highlighting the day, Rydberg 7-6(7-5), 6-4 and freshman Lauren Wilson 3-6, 7-5(8-6) each won their singles matches. The teams of senior Justine Thurman and freshman Christina Laboissonniere (8-4) and Wilson and freshman Kayleigh Holt (8-5) each won one doubles match apiece.
The heartbreak of not securing a post-season seed did not disappoint Head Coach Keith Warner. Having joined Emerson in 1999, this was Warner's first year back after taking a two-year hiatus from the women's team. His return is slowly getting the team back on its feet again after what Warner called "the disaster that was last year's season."
"This season was a pleasant surprise in how well we did," he said. "The girls gave everything they had and more. There are no excuses. We just got beat today."
The Lions did not go home with their tails between their legs. The symbolism was obvious as Jordan and her fellow seniors watched a pair of freshmen, Wilson and Holt, finish out the final set of the season with a victory.
Warner said he was struck by the closeness of the team.
"The girls are a strong and prideful team," he said. "They care more about each other than winning."
As the last doubles match came to a close, several members of the team yelled out an old saying. "It's not over yet," they cried.