Senior women’s tennis team captains Ashton Willis, Emily Rodriguez and Maggie Brasher all seem to have high hopes as well as happy emotions entering into their final season this spring.

“I had a lot of fun and I met a lot of new people along the way! I’m glad I had the opportunity to do this because in the beginning I wasn’t going to play tennis at all! But now look at me! It’s pretty cool because not a lot of people can say that they played tennis at a college level,” Rodriguez wrote in an email.

In their final season, the seniors have high expectations, since they finally get to put their hard work and their off-season efforts, combined with their weekly practices, into action, Brasher wrote.

“I plan to practice, practice, practice. Nothing is more important than that. Practice is what will make this season the best,” Brasher wrote.

The team’s season is scheduled to end April 20 in Arlington against the University of Texas-Permian Basin, according to ramsports.net.

Head tennis coach Angel Martinez said he also has goals set for the team that he feels they will accomplish this season.

“In regards to this upcoming season, I feel very promising,” Martinez wrote in an email. “Three of the women on the team, I like to call my babies, were from the first recruiting class and they stuck with it. This team is really strong, and I think that we’ll be in the finals of the regional tournament again this year.”

Aside from stroke development, footwork drills, and drilling, the seniors are stepping off the court with many new life lessons, as well as memories that will last them years, Brasher wrote.

“While playing for my team, I have learned that I can lean on my teammates because they are always there for me,” Brasher wrote. “We are a family. I have also learned how to better myself on and off the court.”

Rodriguez agrees; she also wrote in an email that stepping onto the court for the her last few matches hasn’t completely set in yet.

“As a person I have changed by appreciating the little things in life, working hard for the things I want,” Rodriguez wrote.

Brasher wrote that she is also not ready for her college tennis career to be over.

“Honestly, it hasn’t hit me yet that this is my last season, but when it does, I feel like it will be a bittersweet moment,” she wrote.

Maggie Brasher (left) and Emily Rodriguez warm up before practice.
Photo by LaTerra Wair

Maggie Brasher grabs tennis balls to lead practice drills.
Photo by LaTerra Wair

Emily Rodriguez hits a backhand during a rally with Maggie Brasher.
Photo by LaTerra Wair