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New age in Tech tennis underway

February 5, 2017

 

Louisiana Tech senior Marta Sramkova picked up wins in singles and doubles on Sunday as the tennis Techsters played their first home match of the season, defeating Sam Houston State 6-1. – Photo by Donny Crowe/LA Tech Communications

Alex Heard
Staff Reporter | amh072@latech.edu

 

A new era of Louisiana Tech women’s tennis has officially begun.

 

Amanda Stone, first year head coach at Tech, and her players are four matches into the new season.

 

Tech is currently 2-2. Both of its losses came to ranked opponents, No. 5 Oklahoma State and No. 22 Texas A&M. Tech did not take A&M lightly as three singles matches went to a third set.

 

Stone said the team continues to fight despite adversity, play with great passion and heart and are accomplishing her goal of constantly wanting to get better.

 

“I just want us to be improving every day and moving in the same direction,” Stone said. “I think that is what we are doing, the girls are working hard. Everyone is motivated and happy to be playing matches again. I think we are all on the same page.”

 

Stone replaced Chad Camper who left for the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga during the offseason.

 

Stone said the transition brought up some problems but they were rather small since having a new coach was something some of the players were used to.

 

“I think there naturally will be struggles with any sort of transition,” Stone said. “I think the team has handled it very well, it talks a little bit about our maturity as a team. This is not new for some of girls to get a new coach so the process was a little easier.”

 

Jazmin Britos, a senior, continues to play well. Against A&M, she took the 85th-ranked singles player to a third set super breaker at the No. 1 position before falling. Against Sam Houston State, both Britos and fellow senior Marta Sramkova played doubles together and ultimately brought Tech to the top.

 

Stone said Britos and Sramkova are doing exactly what seniors need to do and have made her transition easier.

 

“Jazmin is doing a great job in her matches,” Stone said. “She has competed very well with top 20 players. She is a leader on the court and in matches. That is what you want from your seniors. Marta is the same, she is every day, in and out, giving it all she has got. For me, as a new coach, it is helpful to have the seniors on board”

 

Britos said it is important for she and Sramkova to show the younger players the right way to play Tech tennis and that their chemistry has helped them lead.

 

“Marta and I have been playing together for a while,” Britos said. “As a senior, I know that we have to teach the (younger) players how things work and how it is to be on team — to play with your heart for Tech and your teammates.”

 

Stone said the two are constantly pushing their teammates to give it all that they have.

 

“Marta speaks about it a lot — to play more for yourself,” Stone said. “Reaching in and digging deep for your teammates. And I think everyone is really buying into what she is saying. It is helpful that we have good chemistry throughout the team with all of the players. (The seniors) walking the walk is really helpful for all of the new players.”

 

Tech plays the University of Alabama-Birmingham at 10 a.m. Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama.

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