Texas Wesleyan’s women’s tennis team had their first practice after winter break on Jan. 22.

The Lady Rams are planning to start the season off strong, after recovering from their loss at their first tournament against Harding University on Feb. 2 in Dallas.

Head coach Angel Martinez said the team was ready to improve every day as they went through practice.

“We’re playing a very tough schedule this year, especially some very tough Division II teams, so we’re looking to be very competitive and show improvements,” Martinez said.

He said that even though some matches will be tough, they should prepare the team for its regional tournament in April.

“We’re really harping on closing off points at the net in doubles, which we’re doing a better job on,” he said. “We just need to work on our execution a little bit.”

New assistant coach Steve Foster, who started training with Wesleyan in the fall of 2017, said he looked forward to what the team could achieve in the spring season.

“This is our third day out. We went through our off-season training at the end of the fall season, getting stronger, faster and showing some dividends,” he said.

Foster said the Lady Rams had “a lot of heart” in their games.

“They play with a lot of enthusiasm, and are constantly improving their skills,” he said. “We may transit into some different doubles combination in the spring as we get closer into conference play, and I look forward to those transitions.”

Senior religion major Laura Grunden said she hoped to win in regionals and have a chance at nationals.

“It’s my senior year, and I just want to finish strong,” she said. “I was struggling a bit last year, but I think I’m doing a lot better.”

Grunden said getting back from the break, all the team members are pushing each other to work harder in and outside of the court.

“We have a lot of workouts and a lot of us have workouts outside of practice as well,” she said. “When we come to practice we just work harder and stay focused.”

The women’s tennis team plays Angelo State University at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the Arlington Tennis Center. For more information go to ramsports.net.

The Lady Rams will play Angelo State University at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the Arlington Tennis Center.
Photo by Tina Huynh

Laura Grunden practices her powerful serve at the Arlington Tennis Center.
Photo by Tina Huynh

Laura Grunden (left) and Ashton Willis (right) showing team spirit at practice.
Photo by Tina Huynh

Assistant coach Steve Foster blocking for the team at practice.
Photo by Tina Huynh

Ashton Willis assisted the Lady Rams to a Regionals Runner-up finish in the 2016-2017 season.
Photo by Tina Huynh