Coach Zach Remis and his athletes have been hard at work bringing the RIT tennis team to the next level and are very hopeful for what future seasons could have in store.
“With the new recruits coming in next year, we will continue to grow stronger, deeper,” explained Coach Remis. “For now, I’ve set practice plans so we can be physically fit, but also improve our game. Our long term goal is to make the Liberty League conference play offs in the next couple years.”
But in the extremely competitive Liberty League, that is no easy feat. “It’s a really strong conference," Remis said. "Really, the top 5 schools out of 8 all have athletes who could be playing Division I. We have our work cut out for us.”
So far, however, Coach Remis has been extremely impressed by the attitude of his athletes. “They all come to practice with enthusiasm to get better," he explained. "We go out and compete really hard. Even when realistically we aren’t going to win, we always look for ways to win at all times, to be more competitive. We don’t give up.”
The respect flows both ways – Coach Remis’s athletes are also very excited about his arrival and new direction. “It’s been a big change – he does a really good job managing the team,” said fourth year Management Information Systems major Jason Alexander. “He’s also done a good job of recruiting and trying to get outside resources. It’s been a different look at the team then I’ve seen in years past.”
Fourth year Biomedical Photography and Statistics major Kelsie Redburn agreed. “Not only do we have a new coach, but we also have a lot of fresh faces on the team,” she said. “So that’s definitely changed the dynamics. It’s all for the better – we are definitely a much stronger team. He [Coach Remis] has been teaching us better ways to play and new strategies that have been helping a lot.”
Those strategies include everything from more rigorous fitness training to adjustments in drills. “In previous years, we’ve done a lot of ‘dead ball’ drills where the coach is just feeding the ball to us,” explained fifth year Applied Statistics major Kenneth Chou. “Coach Remis has been focusing on more ‘live ball’ drills where you play the point out until you win the game. That’s been a big difference mentality-wise and prepares you better for an actual match.”
These new tactics have really helped the team become more competitive in the challenging Liberty League and in matches against Division II schools. “While the final score might not always go our way,” said third year Sociology major Giannna Heaviland. “Those matches have really strengthened our game, made us stronger physically and mentally. I’m really proud of my team for keeping their heads up and really giving it their all in these matches.”
Undoubtedly, this is a very exciting time of growth for the tennis teams. Go Tigers!