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Tennis team opens season with high national rankings

By Dallas Hudgens, staff writer

The familiar sound of feet scuffling across the court and thuds echoing around campus signals the return of the tennis season.

The Stallions and the Fillies are coming off outstanding seasons in 2012. The Stallions won the GCAA state tournament and finished No. 7 nationally. The Fillies also won the GCAA state tournament and finished No. 12 in the nation.

Coach Alan Kramer plans to improve on both of those outcomes this year.

Both the Stallions and Fillies are ranked in the national preseason top 15. The men’s tennis team stands at No. 9 and the women are ranked No. 12.

Such a high preseason ranking is a great honor but can cause some problems as well. Teams may become complacent and not work as hard throughout the year. Also, every time they step onto the court, they’ll be carrying targets on their back.

However, Kramer isn’t the kind of coach to let his team slack off or enter a match ill prepared. He sets high goals for his team and believes they can accomplish them every single time they go out and play.

The Stallions and Fillies are both involved in charity work, too. Players from both teams volunteered for the Kiwanis Hometown Holiday 5K this past fall, and helped out at the ABAC Fitness 5K on Saturday, Jan. 26.

On the same day as the ABAC Fitness 5K, the tennis players will host the annual Serving for a Cure clinic for middle and high school tennis players. This will take place at the Red Hill Tennis Center from noon-3 p.m. All of the proceeds from the event will go to ABAC’s Relay for Life team.

With so much going on in these tennis players lives, you would think they would never have time for schoolwork and that their grades must be slipping. You would be wrong. Besides all of the athletic goals Kramer wants his team to once again be Academic All-Americans. The team accomplished the goal this past year and Kramer says it is bound to repeat. It’s impressive when a team is able to an Academic All-American because the teams collective GPA has to be a 3.0 for both the men’s and women’s teams.

This looks to be a great year for both of ABAC’s tennis teams. Coach Kramer and his staff are excited about what could happen and believe their team can truly have a great year. The athletes have been putting in their work this offseason and are well prepared for the season.

There will only be three home matches this season, with the first held on Saturday, February 2, at 10 a.m., when the men will take on University of South Carolina-Aiken.

The men play at Emory on Friday, Feb 8, and Oglethorpe on Saturday, Feb 9.