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Blazer tennis ready and recharged

Tennis is back in action on Sunday at home after a three week break.

The energizer bunny isn’t the mascot, but VSU tennis Coach John Hanson agrees that going weeks in between matches “refreshes batteries”, and expects both his teams to end the season on a good note.

 The Blazer tennis teams hosts the North Alabama Lions on Sunday at the tennis complex and it will be their first match in the last three weeks.

 It has been a rather slow start for VSU tennis thus far.

 The defending NCAA national champion men’s team suffered back to back losses early including a demoralizing 0-9 loss to non-conference foe Barry.

 However, since the losses the men’s tennis team is now on a two match winning streak and sits in the third seed of the conference.

 The men’s team is led by Christian Hansen, the only senior on the roster this season.

 Hansen, a key contributor to winning nationals, admits that this young team isn’t as strong as the championship team from last year losing Daniel Duren and Phillip Pakebusch.

 “That’s our two best players we lost so it’s quite difficult. We’re trying to make the best out of it and we have great new guys, who all play very well but obviously it’s a different situation,” he said.

 Although talent has decreased, Hansen is molding more into his leadership role acknowledging his primary goal this season as assisting the newcomers to blossom.

 “Now I feel like I’ve grown into the role, I’m starting to like it,” Hansen said. ““I want to be the leader on this team. I want to show the young guys how to act on the court, get them prepared and be a good role model for them. It’s really about growing as a team, building relationships and were in good shape thinking positive to our next match.”

 The men are perfect against teams in the Gulf South Conference this year and put that on the line in their upcoming match against the (1-9) UNA team.

 Both women’s and men’s teams aren’t only (2-0) in conference play but are also perfect at home too.

 The women’s team is deadlocked at a .500 record right now (3-3) and Coach Hansen expects them to turn up the energy for the rest of the season.

 “Well find out Sunday and Monday,” Hanson said. “Our girls know they can be very good and this stretch coming up is very important to where will end up at the end of the season.”

 The women’s team has shown their inexperience while on the road having only one win away from Valdosta this season.

 Two of the three losses that the women’s team has suffered came against top five teams. 

 The winner of the women’s game on Sunday most likely will take the third place in the GSC.

 The match begins at 10 a.m. at the tennis complex against the Lions and the Blazers face Rollins in Winter Park, Fla. on Monday afternoon. 

 Coach Hanson didn’t hesitate to label this a “rebuilding” season and does not worry about his players losing motivation despite a few rough patches.

 “Well I’m lucky in that I don’t have to do much their pretty individually motivated. We all have the same goals and that’s to finish the season on a high note,” he said.

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