Kansas State tennis opened the spring season with a really completely different roster building than in earlier years. Final season’s group consisted of eight members, 5 of which have been seniors, who earned a 10-13 report and a Huge 12 Match look. Now, the group has six members: three returning gamers and three freshmen.
Moreover an inexperienced roster, the group is not going to have substitutes for tournaments, as each match requires six gamers. These circumstances create a job for the veteran gamers to assist lead the group, beginning with six-year senior Rosanna Maffei.
“That is my sixth 12 months so I sort of really feel just like the chief of the group, particularly as a result of they’re much youthful than me,” Maffei mentioned. “That provides me sort of a bonus as a result of I’ve already been via issues that they’re going via.”
Maffei stands as an essential presence to a younger roster as she enters a brand new season with out her former senior teammates.
Florentine Dekkers, returning sophomore, entered Ok-State amongst many skilled gamers. She now appears to have a bigger function on the group because the third oldest member.
“It feels bizarre as a result of it’s solely my second 12 months,” Dekkers mentioned. “Me, Rosana and Manami [Ukita] are the older ones of the group … however I really feel like we’re all doing fairly properly. We study from one another.”
The leaders of the group have a singular option to relate to their freshmen teammates — everybody on the roster is a global pupil.
“We’ve got completely different backgrounds from completely different international locations, which makes a cultural distinction,” Maffei mentioned. “However I really feel like being all worldwide can assist.”
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Although every participant comes from a distinct background and tradition, every shares the same expertise of shifting away from their dwelling nation.
“The most important factor is, after all, you’re shifting from Europe to the states so that you don’t know something,” Dekkers mentioned. “All the things is new for you. So it’s already an enormous factor to maneuver throughout the nation.”
The group started their 12 months in Florida for non-conference match play, defeating Florida Atlantic 4-2 after struggling a sweep to North Florida. Because the group continues to mildew collectively at first of the season, there may be one fundamental aim for each participant on the group: qualifying for the Huge 12 Match and taking dwelling the trophy.
“[I] For certain need to make the NCAA [Tournament] with the group. I believe we’re placing sufficient effort [into] having good vitality proper now,” Dekkers mentioned. “So I hope the exhausting work undoubtedly pays off this season. I really feel like we will do it although we’re [a] smaller group.”
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