The Montana State University Women’s Tennis team’s fall season came to a close on Oct. 21 with their last fall season practice. The team will begin their transition from 20 hours of practice per week to eight hours according to NCAA guidelines. The team, with five senior athletes, looks forward to the transition. “Now is when the women will get to put in a lot of individual work to prepare for the spring season,” MSU Head Coach John Reeves said. The women’s tennis season picks up again on Jan. 20, 2017 at Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho.
Reeves is in his second year coaching for the Bobcats. Before coaching at MSU he was the head coach at Oklahoma, where the men’s team was ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time. “The team is starting to become a competitive force in the Big Sky Region,” Reeves said.
Since tennis is an individual or partner sport, a lot of the time and effort goes into each individual athlete. This allows each athlete to practice what she needs to improve. That sort of individual attention has allowed the team to grow over the past two years. Senior Laura Middle made the First Team all-Big Sky last season, and senior Naomi Holopainen and junior Angelina Philppova received honorable mentions.
The team members are not just successful in tennis, though. Last year the team received the prestigious ITA Academic Honors Award presented to a team who had an accumulative GPA of 3.20 or higher for the entire academic year. The women’s team finished with a 3.66 GPA overall.
Next year will be important for Reeves because it will be the first year that he has recruited all of the athletes on the team. He will be busy recruiting this season as the first NCAA signing day takes place Nov. 9.