By Emily Coughlin
The men’s and women’s tennis teams are very similar during the game, but practices and school rules vary. The two teams work on the same skills but different techniques, Head Coach Michael Bates said.
The men and women are treated the same in regards to practice times and matches, but the biggest distinctions are their concentrations during practice.
The differences between the two teams lie mostly in practices where the men want to compete with everything they do, but the women work together and help each other improve, said Bates.
When in practice, the men concentrate on how to use their knowledge against their opponent in a strategic way and work on things they did wrong during their matches, said Bates.
“Men work more on being aggressive and coming into the net a little more,” said Bates.
The women work on watching the ball and strategic moves, like when to run to the ball, while also working and improving on the basic skills of the game.
“The women don’t volley as much, so we work more on techniques with staying back on the court,” said Bates.
Both teams condition in the fall and have a few tournaments which help them train for their matches in the spring. They are similar in the way that they focus on what they need to do in the match at practice, said senior Victor Blanco.
“Usually, the fall season is to get in the best shape as possible for spring,” said Blanco.
Despite these differences, the majority of practice is spent working on the same things for both teams, specifically different hits and techniques that they need to work on from meets.
“It’s a carry-over. We need to work on forehands, backhands; it’s all the same,” said Bates.
Men and women need to work on their hits, their serves and focusing on the ball and their opponent, according to Bates.
Another big difference between the teams is the school rules and what each team is allowed to have.
“The men’s side, scholarship-wise, you are allowed four and a half scholarships, where the women are allowed to have eight scholarships,” Bates said.
The matches are not scheduled together, but sometimes it works out that they travel together. Most schools have one coach for the women’s team and one for the men’s, so when scheduling matches the two teams are separate, Bates said.
At St. Bonaventure, the men’s and women’s tennis teams are more intertwined compared to other schools, said Bates. Each team has different strengths and weaknesses, but overall they are very similar and work on the same techniques during practices.
“Sometimes the teams travel together, but it just depends on the match,” said Bates.
During meets the teams are treated equally and discuss how they can best beat their opponents with their coach, said freshman Indra Patwardhan.
“We discuss what we have to improve on as a team rather than individual things, because this is a team sport,” said Patwardhan.
Both the men’s and women’s teams always focus on what went well in their matches and what they need to work on.
“We focus on the positives, whether it’s win or lose,” Bates said.
This weekend the women will be home on Saturday vs. Duquesne at 10:00 and Slippery Rock at 2 p.m. The men will be away at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
At A10s, the teams will not travel together, but will be at Lake Nona, Florida, at the same time. The women’s team will play first with the men playing later in the weekend.