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The Beacon Monday, January 25, 2010

New faces added to women’s tennis team

Jocelyn Martinez Contributing Writer

seed is Aleman, both on their third year playing together as doubles partners. Returning tennis coach Chi Ly Along with the returning trio, there has been preparing the Palm Beach is also a new recruit from the womAtlantic University’s women’s ten- en’s basketball team, Natalia Trotter. nis team for their first match Feb. 3, Not only does this team focus on when they will host Florida Tech. their skill, but also on each other. “I In previous years the team knew love the girls,” said Braaten. “We are what to expect, but they have had very close knit.” some new changes for this upcomThe team will spend a minimum ing season. Placing second in the Na- of two hours a day together. With tional Christian College Athletic As- weekday practices, the addition of sociation last year with a final record Saturday practices and two to three of 16-11, they can only hope to do as matches a week, they are together well, if not better, this year. often. With only three returning players “We are like an unofficial family,” and a new assistant coach, Jack Sahl- Braaten said. “Even Coach says it.” man, the season will be an experiThe girls look forward to the ence, but the team will stay positive matches they play — especially tourthat they will succeed regardless. naments. “I am very excited for this upcomThis spring break, the girls have a ing season,” Ly said. “We have some tournament scheduled and they are new faces on the team so there will be very excited about it. some adjustments.” “Spring break is going to be a lot of Team Captain Natalie Aleman, one fun,” Braaten said. While other colof the three returning players, said, lege students have other things on “This is my final tennis season here their minds for the week-long vacaat PBA and I am very excited to see tion, these girls have something else how our team this year will end up. to prepare for: “We have a tournaWe have a bunch of new faces to the ment.” team and everyone has great work With new faces and positions, this ethic which will give us a great ad- team is preparing for another great vantage in the end.” season. Lina Rubiano and Amber Braaten “I believe that the team will gel and are the other two returning players. come together to compete for the NaAt first seed is Rubiano and second tional Championship,” Ly said.

Senior Natalie Aleman will provide leadership as one of only three returning players. lori richards / contributing photographer

Nationally-ranked men’s tennis team aims higher Collier Rice Contributing Writer

Junior Luke Bolanos is a key threat for the men’s tennis team this season. collier rice/ contributing photographer

Palm Beach Atlantic University’s men’s tennis squad is hard at work, hoping to build on a successful 2009 campaign. The team recently received regional and national rankings from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and is ranked 37th in NCAA Division II. Head coach Chi Ly appreciates the accolades. “It is exciting to see that we have consistently earned the respect and received the votes for both regional and national rankings,” Ly said. Sophomore Krasimir Atanasov, ranked 12th regionally and 27th nationally in singles, bolsters a strong lineup. Atanasov takes pride in the national rankings as well as the team. “Knowing that we present Christ and seeing the result of our hard work as a team definitely gives us a reason to take pride from time to time,” he said. Sophomore Luke Bolanos, along with Atanasov, makes up the 16th ranked doubles team in the region, while the Sailfish are the ninth ranked team overall. Collegiate team tennis fuses individual and team matches, creating difficult and rewarding experiences for the players.

“It is different and more rewarding in a sense because everybody supports and encourages each other in hard moments but, it is also hard because we are different and it is never easy to confront each other’s shortcomings in order to improve as a team,” Atanasov said. Bolanos uses the format to stay focused and on top of his game. “It keeps me more motivated to do my best and fight for every point because you have seven other guys on your side,” Bolanos said. The team will certainly have to pick each other up as the South Region again proves to be one of the toughest. Armstrong Atlantic holds the top spot, while Barry University and number-three ranked Lynn University, 2009’s South Region Title holder, also provide stiff competition. Sophomore Nick Hines relishes his opportunity to play for the Sailfish, against top competition. “Florida tennis is some of the most competitive in the nation; we get to play some of the best ranked teams in the country,” Hines said. PBA’s season starts Feb. 5 with a 4 p.m. match at Flagler College. The Sailfish will have to wait until March 2 for the 4 p.m. home opener against St. Vincent’s at Gaines Park.

Sports Page 7  

New faces added to women's tennis team, nationally-ranked mens team aims higher

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