Space limitations cause men's, women's tennis teams to play in different seasons

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Lauryn Padgett, sophomore and tennis player, participates in the tennis tryouts. She said the benefits of having separate seasons for the teams outweigh the potential drawbacks. (SARAH LIU / PHOTO)

This spring, the women’s tennis team will attempt to win its second consecutive State title. However, the men’s tennis team, who fell short of winning the State title this year, had their State tournament this past fall. The main reason behind the two teams’ different seasons is that there is not enough space to accommodate both teams during one season.

According to Athletics Director Jim Inskeep, there is not enough room in the facilities for both the men’s and women’s teams to have the same season. In addition to the tennis teams, the men’s and women’s golf teams also have different seasons. However, since the men’s and women’s teams have different seasons, there is not an issue with facility space. Sophomore Lauryn Padgett, who played for the women’s varsity tennis team last year, said that she prefers having a separate season.

“I think it’s a lot better that they have it in separate seasons because there would be a lot of space issues with the courts if we had the same season,” Padgett said. “We have State at the same place, so we’d have to separate that. Also, we wouldn’t be able to have the same coach, and we really like our coach.”

Mike Bostic, head coach of the men’s and women’s tennis teams, said that he is glad that both of the teams have separate seasons.

“I don’t think the boys and girls should play at the same time,” Bostic said. “I can give all of my energy to each season and having the summer and winter off gives me time to recharge my batteries.”

Padgett said there are other benefits aside from being able to have the same coach. The men’s and women’s teams can support each other during their respective playoff seasons since they do not have matches at the same time.

“During the spring, (the men’s tennis team) can see our matches and we can go to theirs in the fall. If we had the same seasons, then we wouldn’t be able to do that,” Padgett said.

Kushal Shah, men’s tennis player and senior, also said he enjoys having separate seasons for both men’s and women’s tennis.

“Having different seasons has been great so that each team can get enough attention during their respective seasons. The student body can support one team at a time, and the same goes with our coaching staff or anyone else involved in the program,” Shah said. Having the same coach is awesome because we know he has had a ton of experience and that he is fully committed to our success.”

Shah said that in addition to the ability for both teams to support each other, members both teams sometimes practice together. Padgett said this helps her because it allows her to play against new people.

“It really helps so we’re not just playing the same people on our team all the time,” Padgett said.

While there are many benefits to having different seasons for the teams, there are also some factors that make both seasons unique. Padgett said the different weather during the spring and the fall makes the season different for both teams.

“We had to cancel a lot of our matches (because of rain). We had to have our State tournament indoors last year, but I would’ve liked it to be outdoors,” Padgett said.

Bostic said the women’s tennis team had several cancellations last spring. He said the team has a harder adjustment for its season since play indoors all winter, and there is a big difference between indoor and outdoor tennis. Bostic said the weather during the fall is much better, but Padgett said she prefers to have a spring season for tennis.

“During the spring it gets hotter outside throughout the season, but in the fall it gets colder as the season goes on,” Padgett said. “I guess I’d rather have it get hotter than get colder.”

Padgett said the benefits of having separate seasons for the teams outweigh the potential drawbacks. She said that she ultimately enjoys the differences between the two teams that come with having two separate seasons for the same sport.

“The weather and other stuff make both of our seasons unique,” Padgett said. “I think it’s just fine having different seasons.”

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