The Goshen College women’s tennis team finished its season last Thursday evening in a losing effort against Anderson University. The result dropped their record this fall to 0-11 for the regular season.
After many players from last year graduated, the team had to add several new faces to the lineup. In total, five new players were part of this year’s team: first-years Chloe Woodward, Kendra Lozano, and Megan Eigsti, sophomore Abby Banning, and junior Lynnia Noel.
Along with five newcomers, the Maple Leafs also had to face some injuries throughout the season, with Lozano getting injured in the third game of the season against Saint Joseph Calumet. Lozano, who was playing second singles and first doubles, is still recovering from the injury and could not participate for the rest of the season.
Noemi Salvador, a junior from Ecuador who played first singles, also had an injury that kept her off the tennis courts for a few matches. “For me this has been my poorest season so far. I walked from one injury to another and even a visit to the emergency room,” she said.
One of the new players, Abby Banning, talked about the team’s chemistry after the injuries. “The team meshed well,” she said. “We became pretty close-knit through the multiple injuries we had to endure. It felt like a very supportive group of girls that made playing fun, even if we lost.”
Salvador reflected on the season saying, “We all had new positions we were playing on and even new players. I believe this season was a moment of integration, not necessarily the best season I have experienced so far in terms of the level of performance but it was very unifying and eye opening to what it requires from us to climb positions in conference and become better as a team and individuals.”
Banning said, “This season wasn’t quite what I expected, since I ended up having to play much higher on the ladder than anticipated. But the season as a whole was a great opportunity to meet a new group of girls I hadn’t previously interacted with.”
Banning earned two wins against Bethel College, but she felt that her best game was against Spring Arbor. “I came back from being down and ended up losing in a tie break, but I was really proud of the way I played and kept pushing through the frustrations,” she said.
For next season, Banning explained that the main goal for the team and for herself is to be more consistent. “I think we need to improve our consistency. We can all be great, but we would be more of a contender if we were more consistent overall,” she said.
Salvador agreed. “I feel like we can always be better, and small improvements can make big changes but it requires a lot of commitment and ability to manage your mental game,” she said.
Salvador also wants to make sure that injuries do not come back in the future.
“My goal for off season is to heal hopefully completely some of the injuries I got from this past season and focus on strengthening and building muscle in areas where I’ve had trouble in the past,” she said.