By Emily Coughlin
The St. Bonaventure University tennis teams are on the road for more than half of their matches this season. The men will travel for 15 of 23 matches this season, and the women will travel for 13 of 24.
There are multiple pros, as well as some cons, but whether playing away or at home, the players always learn new things from playing different teams and playing on different courts, freshman Clara Herberts said.
Being on the road is cool because the team gets to see many new places and experience new things, as well as play against new people in a new environment. This helps the players develop their skills and work on their concentration during the match. It also helps the team bond and get stronger as a group because they travel together so often, Herberts said.
Freshman John Rutkowski talked about the struggles he faces in the classroom due to traveling.
“Playing on the road so much has its ups and downs. Fortunately, my family has come to some matches which is nice, however I have only been to one Friday’s worth of classes this semester, so trying to keep up with schoolwork is stressful,” said Rutkowski.
Herberts agreed that missing so much class is difficult, but traveling so often isn’t an issue, as long as the players let their professors know ahead of time.
Rutkowski said all of his professors are very understanding, which helps him to focus on the sport and his school work simultaneously.
Though away meets are cool and different, playing at home is a nice break from the chaos of traveling, said Herberts.
“It´s nice playing home because you don´t miss school, and don’t have to spend hours in a car,” said Herberts.
Rutkowski feels the same about missing school, and he appreciates the larger fan section that appears at home matches. The support from friends and family that attend home matches boosts their confidence, which helps the team play better, said Rutkowski.
“I prefer home matches because traveling all the time can be cumbersome, and having more fans is nice,” said Rutkowski.
At away matches, the team usually stays together the majority of time and they watch each other’s matches, whereas at home meets people do more of their own thing, but still always support their teammates, said Herberts.
“The team feeling, as well as everyone cheering more loudly is very different for me,” Herberts said.
Herberts enjoys the travelling, but sometimes it does get stressful not being home for the weekends.
Rutkowski said the teams use vans for shorter rides and day trips, and comfortable buses for longer rides, or overnight matches. Though Rutkowski prefers closer matches and home matches, he loves the set-up of the buses used for far away matches.
The furthest they will travel this season is Orlando, Florida for Atlantic 10 Championships, but they will be taking a plane, Herberts said. At A10s, the teams will travel separately, but they will be there at the same time. The women’s team will be playing April 20, and the men will be playing April 26.
This Friday the men’s team will travel to Ohio to play Youngstown State at 7 p.m., and the women’s team will be playing Bucknell at home at 10 a.m. and Binghamton at home on Sunday at 12 p.m.