The Fort Hays State University tennis team has steadily been improving this spring, and the past week was nothing different.
The Tigers split a pair of conference matches over the weekend hosting Southwest Baptist and Lincoln University Saturday in tough windy conditions at the Fort Hays tennis courts.
“The wind was crazy. Fortunately in the afternoon, we used that to our advantage,” junior Britney Shea said.
The Tigers stayed close against Southwest Baptist in the morning but lost tiebreakers in the one doubles match and two other singles matches.
“Those would have been big, but I was proud with how we played in the conditions,” head coach Brian Flax said. “The good news is we were able to rebound and pick up our second MIAA win against Lincoln.”
Fort Hays took home all three doubles matches and struck swiftly in singles to take home the match with a clean 9-0 sweep.
“Home wins are important for us as a team and big for our confidence,” Shea said.
The Tigers were in action Tuesday morning in Salina to face non-conference opponent Kansas Wesleyan University. Again, the team stepped up and got off onto the right foot, taking two of the three doubles points and setting themselves up for a good opportunity in singles.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is for us to get off to a good start in doubles,” Flax said. “When we give ourselves the opportunity, we’re telling ourselves that we can succeed.”
The Tigers went on to win four of the six singles matches and get the win 6-3 and move to 6-9 (2-4 MIAA) on the season.
“This team has good camaraderie, and we’re learning to play with confidence,” sophomore Amy Guilliams said.
Guilliams in particular has played well this spring, getting most of her opportunities in singles, and she has taken full advantage winning her last five matches in a row.
“It’s nice to get the chance to play and help the team,” Guilliams said.
Flax reiterated those same points.
“Whenever you have someone who is consistently winning matches for you, it’s huge, and Amy has been doing that,” Flax said.
The end of the tennis season is nearing with three matches left, two of which are in conference and have a chance to gain better position for the MIAA tournament next weekend.
“We need to finish strong as a team; it’s important to finish what we started,” Flax said.
The Tigers will face Newman on Friday, Washburn Saturday and Truman Sunday to close out the regular season.