By Diana Morose
Spring is in full bloom, which means the 2023 tennis season is here. The Barry tennis teams have consistently come out on top with numerous championships under their belt.
This makes the accomplishment of becoming NCAA Division II Women’s National Champions for the fifth time in a row last May especially commendable. They beat out Central Oklahoma to achieve the victory, only losing one point throughout the entirety of the tournament.
If the women’s team continue their winning streak and are crowned champions this year, they will tie with Armstrong State University for having the most championships in Division II Women’s tennis history.
The men’s tennis team was crowned the NCAA Division II Men’s National Champions as well. Finishing the season with a 22-5 record, the men’s team also won the ITA National Team Indoor Championship.
“The success over these past three seasons has come because of great tennis players that are committed to the cause,” said veteran men’s team player Alejandro Ibañez Gallego, who is a senior majoring in management. He has been on the team since 2018.
He said despite the long seasons and not always being at their best, their hard work, training to overcome their difficulties as well as supporting each other are the team’s strengths that keep them going. The success of the men’s team was made more meaningful for Head Coach Thomas Hipp who guided the team to their third consecutive win in his first year as head coach.
“This year our hopes are the same ones as in the past years, we know it won't be easy, but we know we have a chance again [to win] and we will train hard and fight to get more titles,” Gallego said.
But coming off the backs of winning last year, the teams may be under immense pressure to keep the momentum going.
Lojan Shaker, a first-year student majoring in English literature and member of the women’s team, said tennis is a graceful sport that is both mentally and physically taxing.
“You can see that the scores between the sets can go up and down drastically because it’s such an intense game for such a long time. Just you playing for however long is mentally tiring,” she said.
Nonetheless, the men's and women's teams have started this season with a bang. Both teams have won their first three matches against Embry-Riddle, Florida National and Florida Southern.
Both teams’ schedules are packed throughout the entirety of March. The women’s team will compete locally on the 18th, 22nd, 28th, and 30th of March. The men's team will have local matches on the 16th, 19th, 28th, and the 30th of March.
Barry students can support their teams by watching their matches live through the SSC Digital Network at sunshinestateconference.tv/barry.
Barry looks forward to seeing how both teams perform and hope that they keep up their winning streaks.