Tennis season underway
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On Feb. 5, the Fighting Koalas tennis team played their first match against Anderson University. The Fighting Koalas lost 9 to 0.
Since Feb. 5, the Fighting Koalas have played against Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Newberry College, and Agnes Scott College. In their match against Savannah College of Art and Newberry College, the Fighting Koalas lost 8 to 1. In their match against Agnes Scott College, the Fighting Koalas won 5 to 4.
“I enjoy watching the player or athlete develop,” Nancy Powell, head tennis coach, said. “I enjoy watching them master a skill and seeing the look on their face when they are able to do things they weren’t able to do before.”
Powell has been head coach of the tennis team at Columbia College for two years, according to the Fighting Koalas website. Powell has been coaching tennis since 1988 and holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and history from the University of South Carolina. She is also a founding member of the Lexington Area Tennis Association, an association whose purpose is to provide more courts and tennis programs within the community, according to the Fighting Koalas website.
Mara Reiss is one of the players on the team. Reiss is a senior at Columbia College with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry.
“We have a really cohesive team this year,” Reiss said. “From our first player to our sixth, we are strong all the way through. We are team-oriented because we focus on encouraging others and have team support. We are also self-motivated. Some of my teammates will go to the gym and workout on days when we don’t have practice and will motivate themselves to be better.”
Lydia Royals, a senior at Columbia College with a major in writing for print and digital media and a minor in communication studies, wants to get to the second round of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Conference.
The NAIA is a small group of athletic programs dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics, according to the NAIA’s website. The NAIA has been administering programs and championships in balance with the overall college educational experience since 1937. Each year, more than 60,000 student-athletes get the chance to play college sports at NAIA institutions, according to NAIA’s website.
“When we get to the conference, we always get taken out our first game because we always play great teams that are higher ranked than us. So I want us to get to the second round in the conference this year,” Royals said.