ACU tennis has two invitationals this weekend, one for the men’s and one for the women’s team. The men’s team will head to the New Mexico State Fall Invitational while the women’s team will travel to Boise State.
Tennis is not new to Div. I competition, nearly half their matches feature Div. I programs. Assistant coach Juan Nunez, who had a four-year tennis career with the Wildcats, said he believes the team will not struggle because of the stiff competition they have faced.
“It will be a little bit of an adjustment,” Nunez said. “All of a sudden, you have to play at that level, week in and week out, when prior it was only about half the scheduled matches. I think it’s just a matter of maintaining that level every week.”
A key component for this season’s young tennis team, which has no senior leadership on the men’s side, is staying responsible and focused, said Nunez.
“They are all excited, especially for the fact that they are the first Div. I team,” Nunez said. “It’s a young team and it has been playful, but I think we will be fine. They seem more focused because they know the competition is going to be much higher.”
Nunez said the tennis team believes they will rise up to the challenge and have a good season, despite the big transition to a full Div. I schedule.
The women’s side, however, has two seniors. Micah Hermsdorf, senior advertising and public relations major from Spring, has been playing the sport for 18 years.
“I’m really excited for the Div. I transition,” Hermsdorf said. “We have always competed against Div. I teams, but now we are official. It is exciting to finally get to test our abilities at the top level.”
Hermsdorf said she has set high goals for herself this season but knows the road will not be easy.
“I am going to compete my hardest this season and have fun while doing it,” Hermsdorf said. “I would love to make nationals in doubles or even singles, but it is a tough road with tougher competition. As a team, I want us to show Div. I that we belong and we are going to be tough competition to beat.”