Tennis impresses in UWF Fall Fling

Junior Ceci Mercier is back to practicing as she returns from an injury for the fall season. She has played all three tournaments so far. 
Nikisun Shrestha from The Lion's Roar

The Lady Lions tennis team continue their good start to the season in University of West Florida as they participate in the three-day 2017 UWF Fall Fling.

Head Coach Jason Hayes was happy with the team’s performance in the third tournament of their fall season. He described the progress of the team in this schedule.

“Overall, I was very pleased,” said Hayes. “We lost some matches we could have won, but each girl fought hard, and I think we got better this weekend. We have been progressing quickly. We’ve been trying some new tactics. The girls are starting to use it in their games, and we’re starting to see the positive results.”

Senior Dalina Dahlmans explained the proceedings in the tournament.

“The team’s overall performance was great, especially in singles play,” said Dahlmans. “We had three girls into the final of different draws, which is great. In doubles, we came a little short, but the competition was good, and we played hard.” 

Hayes was proud of how Dahlmans and Ceci Mercier have bounced back from the injuries they carried last season. 

“I could not be more proud of Ceci and Dalina, both had good tournaments, both are continuing to work hard, and Dalina has won her last two tournaments, which is just tremendous,” said Hayes.

Dahlmans said she feels positive playing in her senior year.

“I feel great on the court,” said Dahlmans. “I am playing the best tennis of my career and knowing that this is my senior year, it gives me a little extra push. I don’t want it to be over yet, and I want to make the best out of it. After being in a wheelchair and having two legs casted, this season couldn’t have gone any better. I am very lucky that my body is cooperating with me, and that I get the opportunity to compete again for Southeastern.”Description:

The Lady Lions will close out their fall schedule by hosting George E. Fourmaux Invitational on Friday, Nov. 3. 

“It’ll be fun to host the George E. Fourmaux Invitational again,” said Hayes. “We’re hoping to get some people to come out and watch, should be a great event with some fantastic tennis.”

Hayes shared his thought on the home tournament.

“It’s going to be very difficult,” said Hayes. “There are a lot of good teams that are going to be here, and we are going to need to continue to improve to have the success that we want to have. You can see them becoming more involved in each practice. They want to learn, they want to get better, and that makes it such a joy to coach this group.”

Dahlmans explained how she would like to finish the schedule on a high in front of the fans.

“I am very excited for our home tournament,” said Dahlmans. “It is always great to play in front of our home crowd and knowing that people will come support us. It is also a different format than the other two tournaments we played. This is going to be a team tournament, just like the spring, every win the players from each team collect will count towards the team overall total. This format will bring the team fight back into play, and it’s gonna be good competition.”