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Tennis team welcomes new head coach

January 18, 2013

Head coach Freddy Gomez, senior Alena Erofeyeva, junior Melanie Urvoy, freshman Manoela Chiacchio and freshman Taly Merker getting ready for practice last Tuesday. - Photo by Derek J. Amaya

 

REINA KEMPT
Sports Editor

 

At the beginning of the school year, the women of Louisiana Tech’s tennis team didn’t know what to make of their season without a head coach, but in November Freddy Gomez was hired to take over.

 

Gomez was the assistant tennis coach at Virginia Tech before moving to Ruston to transfer from orange and maroon to blue and red.

 

He made plenty of pit stops before coaching at Virginia Tech and then finally making it to Tech. He was a staff coach for three years at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla. He coordinated and promoted tennis camps as an assistant tennis pro at Cliff Drysdale Tennis in Southampton, N.Y.

 

Gomez also was an assistant tennis director at the George Washington University Tennis Center and at Illinois State University in 2006.

 

But Louisiana Tech will start a new journey for Gomez as this is his first head coaching position.

 

“I feel very honored to receive this position,” Gomez said. “I get to be the leader of this program.”

 

Upon arrival in Ruston, Gomez was already hit with a big challenge. His tennis team consists of only five players when a college tournament consists of six singles matches and three doubles matches.

 

“We only have five players this year, so hopefully they will play all the games,” Gomez said.

 

These five players include senior Alena Erofeyeva, who said she likes the kind of coach Gomez is.

 

“He is very encouraging and supportive of us,” she said. “He puts it in our mind to have a winning spirit.”

 

Gomez said he feels he is a player’s coach. He said he is all about communication and meeting his players’ needs. Gomez is more of a hands-on coach as he sometimes plays with the girls in practice.

 

Erofeyeva said she can tell this season will be different because of Gomez’s leadership.

 

“There is already a big difference,” she said. “He has such a different approach and we all get along so well.”

 

He said his goals for this season are very reachable with effort.

 

“Conference is very important for us and I think we can do well against some pretty good teams,” Gomez said.

 

Playing teams like nationally ranked No. 59 Stephen F. Austin State University will get the Techsters ready for a difficult Western Athletic Conference schedule that features five new teams.

 

The Techsters’ first match will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 26 in Ruston against University of Central Arkansas.

 

Email comments to rjk007@latech.edu.

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