Women#039;s tennis drops tough match to Suffolk

by Beacon Staff • September 30, 2009

a fight.

A winning volley here, followed

up by a strong ace there, made for competitive matches all night. And even when the Emerson women's tennis team ran into a tough pairing against the strong Suffolk University team, the Lions never once hung their heads.,They refused to go down without

a fight.

A winning volley here, followed

up by a strong ace there, made for competitive matches all night. And even when the Emerson women's tennis team ran into a tough pairing against the strong Suffolk University team, the Lions never once hung their heads.

"Everyone played their hardest and tried their best and there's no fault in losing to a good team," said Chrissy Laboissonniere, a senior journalismand visual and media arts double major. "I'm sure we'll work hard in practice and get them in the playoffs."

That was the attitude among many members of Emerson's team after a close, hard fought 5-4 loss Sept. 23, at the Buckingham,

Browne and Nichols sports complex in Cambridge.

Instead of screams of frustration

and throw of racquets, the Lions tried to key in on what they could learn from the lopsided matches.

"We have a very positive attitude

on this team," said second year head coach Mason Astley, building his team's anticipation for the third week of October when GNAC divisional playoffs begin."Our focus is to continually improve.

We're playing well right now but we want to peak going into the playoffs."

The Emerson team, featuring strong underclassmen talent, showed spurts of impressive play on Wednesday night, and exposed certain facets of the Lions' game on which Astley seeks to improve throughout the season.

"Looking at it from the beginning

I really wanted to get two out of the three doubles matches and that would have put us in a stronger position going into the singles," Astley said. "We had three close matches and lost two of them so we had our work cut out for us going into the singles."

Indeed, Emerson gained an 8-5 victory from Laboissonniere and junior Kailey Smith in the doubles round before watching

their teammates fall in two tightly fought matches.

With each serve seemed to come an added element of intensity, as players rallied around their respective sides. Heated volleys ensued, and while it left the Lions with two losses, it gave the young team some much needed experience.

"I think it showed us things we need to work on individually when playing with our doubles partners," said senior Captain Kayleigh Holt. "If we challenge ourselves and try to improve our own game it will push us as a team to improve."

Despite dropping two matches in the doubles, the Lions kept an upbeat attitude going into what became a resurgent singles round.

Again, Laboissionniere delivered

a win for Emerson, this time joined by teammates Holt and sophomore Zara Neilfield.

Although Suffolk was able to secure victories in the other three singles matches to seal the win, that didn't deter Emerson from looking to the future.

"Last night's loss really didn't get us down at all," Holt said."There was no real disappointment on the team."

The Lions were able to analyze the match and look at what worked for them and what could have been better.

Focusing more on showing steady improvement, Astley looks for his players to learn from the loss, especially his underclassmen.

"I think there were situations where some of us were nervous and got a little too excited and didn't play to our potential," he said. "If we use the experience to become more calm under those types of situations we can improve as a team as well as working on certain individual techniques."

With seven more regular season matches ahead of them, it will be a long road for the team, and it's planning on taking them one at a time, focusing on the tasks at hand.

Whenever a crucial match on Wednesday night came down to a game point and an Emerson player was standing up to the challenege, cheers constantly came from the Lion bench.

Win or lose, the entire team would rally around her, Astley providing her with an encouraging boost which she thinks is vital to the team's success.

"There's a real positive energy on this team and that was here from the day I got here and it's the upperclassmen," he said. "We're gaining experience as a team and we're going to support each other throughout."